What is Anxiety? 

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Some moments of anxiety are more brief than others, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. But for some people, anxious feelings are more than just passing worries or a stressful day at work.

Anxiety is a normal emotion. It’s your brain’s way of reacting to stress and alerting you of potential danger ahead. However, anxiety can become a harmful condition that interferes with functioning in your daily life.

Persistent anxiety can lead to a person avoiding work, school, family gatherings, and other social situations that might trigger or worsen your symptoms. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For people with an anxiety disorder, their feelings do not go away and often get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.

What are the symptoms of Anxiety?

When a person has anxiety, they may experience:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Being irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

How to prevent Anxiety:

It may not be possible to prevent anxiety, especially if you have an untreated anxiety disorder. If you experience minor anxiety, preventing it can be a matter of personal maintenance of both physical and mental health. Eat well, exercise regularly, and reach out to close friends or loved ones when dealing with particularly stressful situations to help manage symptoms of anxiety.

Treating Anxiety:

You can take steps to reduce the impact of anxiety symptoms to make managing anxiety less challenging. This includes:

  • Get help early. Anxiety can worsen with time, so early action is advised
  • Participate in activities that you enjoy and those that reduce your stress and make you feel good about yourself
  • Positive social interaction and caring relationships can help with emotional reinforcement
  • Avoid alcohol or drug use as these can cause or worsen anxiety 

Anxiety disorders, however, are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. There are many ways to treat anxiety, and you should work with a healthcare professional to establish the right treatment plan for you.

How can San Ysidro Health help?

If you are struggling with anxiety, we can help. Call or text (619) 662-4100 to schedule an appointment with one of our behavioral health providers.

To learn more about San Ysidro Health’s Behavioral Health Services department, click here.