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Anxiety Symptoms – Treating Anxiety

Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
When you experience chronic anxiety, it is probably difficult to imagine you could distract yourself from that anxiety. With anxiety, you may find that you become overwhelmed with worry and racing thoughts. This can be difficult when it results in many physical symptoms, such as a racing heart rate, headaches, and stomach problems. It can become even more problematic when it interferes with your daily life, and you find that you are having a hard time concentrating, having a hard time sleeping, or constantly on high alert.
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When you struggle with chronic anxiety, it can be hard to confront your triggers. But, anxiety occurs as our body's response to stress that we are experiencing or have experienced. Chronic anxiety means that your body keeps experiencing anxious symptoms, even if the stress is no longer present. Meaning, when you experience chronic anxiety, your body is constantly on high alert.
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If you experience chronic anxiety, you may have found that, over the past year or so, it has increased due to these uncertain times in the pandemic. And perhaps quite a bit of your anxiety has been related to uncertainties surrounding the circumstances. This is something that has impacted me. I found that, particularly in the early months, I felt very anxious because there were so many things that were unknown.
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If you build confidence, you can reduce your anxiety. This is because anxiety is often characterized by feelings of fear and worry. When you experience chronic anxiety, these feelings of fear and worry may persist, and it can be challenging to overcome. Chronic anxiety can continuously affect the person experiencing it, and the individual may find that they periodically experience panic attacks and other physical symptoms of anxiety.
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Struggling with chronic anxiety involves experiencing symptoms such as headaches, shakiness, a rapid heart rate, uncomfortable stomach issues, and feelings of dread. Often, these feelings are unexplainable, and the feelings may come on unexpectedly. This is something that I know I experience, and then, as a result, I find I try to figure out what is causing the anxiety. This sometimes results in identifying certain anxious thoughts. An effective coping mechanism has been to challenge those anxious thoughts and reframe some of them.
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Anxiety and anger feel a lot alike. An increased heart rate, feeling flushed, tense muscles, uncomfortable stomach issues -- these symptoms may be familiar to you if you experience chronic anxiety. They may also sound like things you felt the last time you were angry. 
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One of the challenges I experience is when the past makes me anxious. I sometimes find that if I think about events from the past, and those events made me anxious, I tend to feel immersed in my memories. I find that it is almost as though I am reliving those events and experiencing all of the emotions all over again. I often compare it to watching a movie or an "episode" of my "show" over and over again.
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This past year was extremely difficult. Many good things happened throughout the year, but my family and I also went through some tough times. As so many recently have, we experienced loss. As a result, I would be remiss if I did not talk about how grief has impacted my anxiety and vice versa. Experiencing loss has made me stop to think about the emotional journey of grief. Furthermore, experiencing loss and the process of grief has taught me how to cope when enduring a deep ocean of emotions, which can be difficult to surface from.
George Abitante
How do we cope with anxiety during the transition to a post-COVID-19 world? For people experiencing anxiety, the return to a new normal can be really frightening and difficult. As exciting and positive as the transition may be as a whole, returning to typical social, work, or travel routines can bring with it a new set of worries or bring up old ones.
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There have been so many changes that have happened in the world this past year, leaving us with anxiety about the unknown. Along with that, I have personally experienced many changes in my life. Typically, I experience anxiety with any change that happens, and this last year has been no different. However, with so many changes happening throughout the world, it has become even more important to take specific steps to prevent from becoming overwhelmed with anxious feelings.