Helpful and Harmful Anxiety. Is Your Anxiety Hurting You?

Anxiety. To hear the word we immediately think about stress, fear, concern, mental anguish, and even depression. We associate anxiety itself with much more complex issues, such as depression, because we know they can lead up to them if anxiety becomes the focal point of our thoughts. With all of the pressure put on teens it’s far too easy a pathway for them to follow.

The word anxiety literally means “a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of,”. When taken in its literal form anxiety does not seem quite as detrimental to our emotional health. Although it does have a possible, and very real counterpart that we call depression, the actual stage of anxiety is not as harmful as it seems.

Everyone deals with anxiety. Everyone knows what it feels like to get butterflies in their stomach before a date, the tension you feel when your parents are angry with you (or vise versa), the way your heart beats when you are in danger or fearful.

Anxiety can be a great form of natural, emotional awareness in its pure and original form. But do not be confused. Anxiety is a natural occurrence which makes its original state potentially helpful. Anxiety in excess is the cause of more harmful emotions and disorders.

Anxiety is our emotional feedback that makes us aware of our flight-or-fight response. It gives us the cognizance of our own nervousness, our own obscurity, our own subtle fears, and our own right to reaction. Whether we are worrying over a business decision or becoming aware of whether we are in a safe environment or not, anxiety brings us to a higher level of knowingness when it is within normal range.

Although anxiety is known and felt by everyone it can become an overwhelming issue. Sometimes people focus strongly upon this anxiety, can not pull away from it, and it therefore becomes overly redundant. An excess of anxiety leads to disorders. These anxiety disorders are not just a case of “nerves”. They are considered illnesses and they are directly related to the life experiences of the individual. Disorders are defined as illnesses that cause people to feel frightened, distressed, and uneasy for no apparent reason. People diagnosed with anxiety disorder experience excessive fear, worry, or uneasiness that interferes with their daily lives.

There are many approved medications that are widely used for treating anxiety disorders. Meditation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and natural alternatives have also been proven to assist in the treatment of anxiety. The true treatment is the one that is most effective for the individual. Learning to handle everyday situations with a sense of patience and a realization that we have the power to make light of more situations that we sometimes allow ourselves are rules to live by. We all have the power towards peaceful lives and relaxed minds. We just have to find the path that works best for each of us.