Anxiety is currently a serious problem. As a whole, the collective mind – particularly in Western cultures and North America – seems to be getting more distraught, more stressed, and more anxious.
This is creating a number of problems in society as a whole. Is anxiety killing us as a culture?
How Could Anxiety Do So Much Damage?
When someone is anxious, it’s a reflection of inner turmoil. Many of us deal with existential anxiety – the constant, looming sense of having no real idea of what we’re doing on this planet, or where our lives are going. Working, raising kids, going to school, and living in noisy, crowded cities can all promote high levels of anxiety.
This is problematic on its own – but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t acknowledge their anxiety or refuse to seek help for it. This means that there are millions of people living their lives in a state of anxiety while also believing that there’s no reason that they should seek help for it.
Anxiety is running rampant in society, creating a litany of problems.
- Driving while anxious makes one more likely to have an accident.
- High anxiety levels are leading to higher rates of drug addiction and overdose.
- Parents who are anxious all the time are likely to raise anxious children (anxiety seed-planting).
- High levels of anxiety and stress are known to contribute to physical diseases and is likely a factor in the increasing rates of disease in the United States.
- Serious anxiety can develop into other conditions, a lower quality of life, and make people more likely to act out irrationally or even violently.
Knowing this, there’s no doubt that anxiety is something worthy of treatment. But what can we do?
How to Manage Anxiety
One of the reasons that people may not treat their anxiety is because they’re not sure how to go about it. Here are some reliable ways to manage anxiety.
- Find a Therapist. Many people fear therapy will label them as some sort of ‘nut-case,’ but this isn’t anywhere close to truth. The brain is an organ that can screw-up like any other organ in the body. Does having asthma or cancer make you a lesser person? Hardly. The reality is that we’re all struggling with some sort of internal issue, and the strongest people are those who seek out therapy to improve themselves regardless of what others think. You can easily find a therapist on the Psychology Today website, or speak to an online therapist through one of many companies.
- Consider Meditation or Breathing Exercises. Meditation has been used for thousands of years to help people manage things like chronic stress and anxiety. Beginning a meditation routine and doing it properly will yield profound results that can measurably improve both physical and mental health. Meditation has even been scientifically proven to lower cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Practice Gratitude. Consistently (daily) focusing on just three gratitudes – no matter how small – at the end of each day, has a twofold effect: (1) It slows and replaces negative thought patterns with something entirely different. (2) It rewires the brain to stop automatically seeking the “bad.” Studies show that we can physically rewire and retrain the brain! Doing something 40 – 50 times creates new pathways, neurons and synapses in the brain that can be seen via MRI. And, doing it 60 times or more will actually thicken and reinforce those neuron bundles for the long-term!
If you follow these tips, then you’ll surely find that your mental health improves in no time.