[title subtitle="Wellness Wednesdays With Blare June"]How to Acknowledge Your Anxiety[/title]
Today, the modern woman juggles a demanding job, a busy household, a plethora of errands, and if time permits (gasp!), a social life. A result of wearing all too many hats, she is often exhausted if not overwhelmed by the endless chores of her everyday life. It doesn’t help, of course, that we, women, are conditioned to uphold this superhuman do-it-all image. Even worse, identifying and dealing with our anxiety—acknowledging the stress caused by our gung-ho mentality—falls to the very bottom of our bottomless to-do list.
Still, as annoying as feeling nervous is, that jittery feeling is not only normal but also useful in certain situations. Imagine, for example, how difficult studying for a final exam or prepping for a big interview would be if you didn’t feel the slightest bit on edge. While there’s no question anxiety plays an instrumental role in helping us get our butts in gear, anxiety that goes unchecked can lead to idleness and impairment.
Here are 5 telltale signs that your nerves may be getting the best of you:
"I feel on edge."
Anxiety is not a black or white feeling. It often slides up and down a wide emotions spectrum. Even though we humans require a healthy dose of it to make it through our every day lives, there's a fine line between what is actually considered "normal " and what in reality is "disordered."
Anxiety is considered to be "disordered" when our worries consume a significant amount of our time causing impairment on our ability to function. While the feeling is hard to describe in words, people have gravitated towards terms like "on edge" and "keyed up" to express their stress.
It is important to monitor our daily worries to identify potentially drastic changes in our feelings.
"You are getting under my skin."
When our nerves get the best of us, we can often feel bugged by seemingly trivial events. Whether it the coffee line being too long or the ambient music blaring too loud, our ability to cope with everyday stimuli doesn't function as regularly as it should.
If you find yourself snapping at your partner or rolling your eyes at your friends–if you find that you've become that much more irritable and annoyed at the simplest things–it is a good time to take a deep breath and acknowledge your anxiety.
"Sorry, can you please repeat that?"
When we bite off more than we can chew, our minds often drift from the task at hand. A chance in concentration is often a clear indicator of increased stress levels. If you are having a difficult time focusing in class or watching your favorite show on Netflix, it may be time to seek help.
"I need a massage ASAP!"
The mind and body are interconnected vessels. When the mind is overwhelmed, the body react accordingly. When our stress levels rise, we may feel actual physical strain. Muscle tension, headaches and an upset stomach are symptoms that identify with stress.
"If only I got more sleep..."
When we feel overworked or overwhelmed, our sleep patterns can get disrupted. Naturally, this is your body's way of telling you to slow down. Depending on the individual, it is vital we get an average of 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of rest can immediately lead to muscle soreness and acute feelings of irritability. Not only may coping with everyday life feel extra difficult, but it may also feel impossible.
If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the above signs, please seek or have them seek out help from a physician. It can get better. Next week, I’ll be discussing simple exercises you can practice to manage and alleviate your anxiety.