Do I Have Anxiety?
Anxiety is very common and extremely uncomfortable, but it is also a necessary emotion. So how do you distinguish between useful and harmful? When is it time to ask for help?
In short: yes.
But that in itself is not a bad thing.
At its core, anxiety is a very natural & necessary response to stress.
Anxiety mobilizes parts of our brain that help us remain safe and focused in challenging situations. It alerts us that through knowledge and past experiences, there may be danger up ahead. Our heart rate increases, our senses become more acute. Our system says: “beware”.
Picture this: You are driving down a lonely winding road in the middle of the night. Fog starts to set in and you pass a deer crossing sign. This is where anxiety can be very beneficial. You are able to focus, able to ready yourself for something potentially jumping out of the bushes. Ideally, when the fog dies down and you get to open road, your system normalizes and the anxiety subsides.
But what if it doesn’t? Or what if the anxiety is so much that you can’t breathe anymore, that you become frozen and unable to drive safely?
This is where anxiety becomes maladaptive.
Anxiety becomes problematic when it prevents us from living life.
While anxiety can be beneficial, it can also get out of hand. Blurry vision, not being able to focus, difficulty breathing, worrying about things that cannot be controlled at all hours of the day (and night), you know how it goes. This is a level of anxiety that stops you from doing the things you love, from being with those that matter. So the bigger question becomes:
Do I have too much anxiety?
Is your anxiety preventing you from living your life to the fullest?
If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s time ask for help.