Decrease Symptoms of Anxiety

Today, I would like to begin with a poem I have entitled Anxiety:

Anxiety?  Yeah, she has a hold of me!  No matter what I do, she won’t set me free…  She has a grip on my heart; it’s like some kind of sick art.  The theme is always changing; my thoughts are always rearranging.  I try to push her away, but to no avail, she is persistent and wants to stay.  She will keep me awake without fail.  She’s been weighing on me forever.  I am learning to contain her; however, Step by step, day by day, I know I will find a way!  I won’t let her hinder my growth!  Go ahead, take that as an oath!  My word is true; I know what she can do!  She’s accompanied me to the bottom and made me feel just rotten!  She paints a bleak picture and always keeps it with her.  Although she is with me, that picture I don’t always see.  I push it away every minute of every day.  Sometimes I see a glimpse, and yes, it makes me wince.  I don’t let it overcome me, though.  My persistence to her I want to show!  With my life, I am painting my own picture; it is slowly getting bigger.  As it grows, so do I, and her picture looks more and more like a lie.  Hopefully, one day she will disappear, and with her, take her fear!  Until she does, I will keep painting.  For when she is vulnerable, I will be waiting.

I am sure we have all experienced different symptoms or aspects of anxiety.  If you are unsure of this; however, I will list the symptoms a person suffering from anxiety might experience.  The symptoms include: restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or having your mind go blank, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, restless sleep, and unsatisfying sleep ).  These are the general symptoms of anxiety; your symptoms may vary depending on the specific source of your anxiety.  This list will suffice for our purposes, however.     

A certain amount of anxiety is actually healthy for us.  It often keeps us motivated to complete tasks.  It becomes an issue when the anxiety is inhibiting our quality of life and/or our ability to function properly on a daily basis.  Although many people think drinking alcohol calms our nerves, it actually increases symptoms of anxiety, especially heavy and long-term drinking.  Alcohol changes the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which frequently makes anxiety worse.  This is why you may feel even more anxious once the alcohol wears off.  This alcohol-induced anxiety can last hours or even an entire day after consuming alcohol.  Some individuals can drink one or two drinks and experience the euphoric symptoms associated with alcohol, which is fine if they can keep it to a few drinks.  Problems with anxiety related to alcohol use typically involve more than moderate drinking.  If you are like me and have alcohol dependency issues, moderate drinking will not be in your vocabulary very often. 

If you are familiar with anxiety, I am sure you would be happy to decrease the symptoms you experience.  Anxiety will not disappear overnight, but there are strategies we will discuss later on that you can utilize to manage your symptoms and at least keep them from getting worse.  For now, however, by remaining sober,  Today you can decrease your symptoms of anxiety!

(Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash)