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Everyone gets anxious sometimes, but if your worries and fears are so constant that they interfere with your ability to function and relax, you may have heightened anxiety.  It involves constant worrying, nervousness, and tension. It is a general feeling of dread or unease that can color your whole life.  Anxiety can make normal life difficult and relaxation impossible.  It can be mentally and physically exhausting.  It drains your energy, interferes with sleep and wears your body out.  You often worry about the same things that other people do but, you tend to take these worries to a new level.  Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.  

Emotional symptoms of Anxiety include:

  • Constant worries running through your head

  • Feeling like your anxiety is uncontrollable; there is nothing you can do to stop worrying

  • Intrusive thoughts about things that make you anxious; you try to avoid thinking about them but, you can't

  • An inability to tolerate uncertainty; you need to know what's going to happen in the future

  • A pervasive feeling of apprehension or dread

Behavioral symptoms of Anxiety include:

  • Inability to relax; enjoy quiet time or be by yourself

  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on things

  • Putting things off because you feel overwhelmed

  • Avoiding situations that make you anxious

Physical symptoms of Anxiety include:

  • Feeling tense; having muscle tightness and body aches

  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because mind won't quit

  • Feeling edgy, restless, or jumpy

  • Stomach problems, nausea, diarrhea

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a particularly helpful treatment of anxiety.  CBT examines distortions in the way the clients see their world and themselves and will help them identify automatic negative thoughts that contribute to the anxiety.  CBT will teach them how to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful worry.  As the negative thoughts are challenged the clients fears will subside and they will be able face uncomfortable situations directly.  By tackling their fears head on, they will begin to feel more in control and less anxious.  

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