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How to Ease Worry and Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal emotion and is your body’s natural response to stress and stressful situations. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension that can be brought on by any number of situations from public speaking to concern about current events.

Anxiety can cause many different symptoms and might affect how you feel and behave. If you feel an anxiety or panic attack coming on, be aware. Slow down, recognize what you’re experiencing and take deep, slow breaths. Panic attacks are generally brief, lasting less than 10 minutes. Symptoms can include:

  • Chest pains
  • Racing heart
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers or toes
  • Feeling sweaty or having chills
  • Nausea

Panic attack and heart attack symptoms can feel very similar. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says, “A panic attack occurs spontaneously or a stressful event can trigger it, but it poses no immediate danger. A heart attack is dangerous, and it requires prompt medical attention. In women, though, heart disease symptoms are sometimes mistaken for a panic attack.”

If you experience these symptoms, please make an appointment with one of Dopson Family Medical Center’s family practice physicians for a thorough physical evaluation.

Coping Strategies

The ADAA is an international nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and more. If you feel anxious or stressed, their website offers an abundance of coping strategies including:

  • Take a time-out. Step back from your worry to help clear your head. Calm yourself through meditation, music, massage or exercise.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Keep your energy high with healthy food and energy boosting snacks. Don’t skip meals.
  • Limit intake of alcohol and caffeine. These substances can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Sleep! When you’re stressed out, your body needs additional rest.
  • Exercise Daily. Try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (brisk walking) each week.

Additional resources include:

–  Coronavirus Corner, an ADAA resource page that provides helpful expert tips and resources to manage Coronavirus anxiety.

9 Ways to Avoid Panicking About Current Events by WebMD

For daily tips on reducing anxiety, you can follow ADAA on Facebook at @AnxietyAndDepressionAssociationOfAmerica or on Instagram at @triumphoveranxiety