“Anxiety” is a word thrown around perhaps a little too cavalierly these days, but it’s a mental health condition that impacts 40 million adults just in the US. Although it manifests itself differently in each person, the biggest symptoms of anxiety include excessive worrying, accelerated heart rate, and an inability to concentrate.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 14, and I was later diagnosed with bipolar II as an adult (of which anxiety is a symptom), but I’ve experienced anxiety for as long as I can remember. I never learned how to do a cartwheel for fear of breaking my neck, and I always envisioned our car crashing into a lamppost every time it rained. (I was a superfun kid to be around, if you can’t tell).
Although my anxiety has been seemingly getting worse as I’ve gotten older, I have also been more proactive about how to tackle it. Rather than let it consume my life, I take these steps to calm my nerves and prevent myself from going on a downward spiral.
Please note this shouldn’t be a substitute for medical advice; if you are suffering from anxiety, tell your doctor and visit a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who can help you find an effective treatment plan.
For more resources on anxiety, please visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.