So, you’re a bit of a perfectionist. You’ve been an overachiever for as long as you can remember. You completed all of your homework on time, studied as hard as you could, and tried to always aim for 100% or even extra credit when possible. This quality didn’t just stop at your education, though. You like to make sure that your dishes are always washed and put away, your bed is always made in the morning, and your yard is well-groomed and maintained. You like things done a certain way. There’s nothing wrong with that. That is, until it starts to get in the way of how you live your life.
Anxiety is a complicated thing. It’s characterized by intense worry and fear. It can also involve restlessness and insomnia, racing thoughts and irritability. It is not easy to cope with, but counseling helps. However, not everyone with anxiety actually goes to therapy. This can be for a lot of reasons, from the existing stigma surrounding mental health to a lack of available and affordable therapists close by. That’s why a lot of people have turned to mobile apps. There are a variety of available mobile apps centered on improving one’s mental health, and many of these cater to anxiety specifically. But that doesn’t mean they really do help people cope with anxiety.
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night? No matter how tired or exhausted you are, you can’t seem to quiet your mind enough to relax and fall asleep. Maybe you actually can’t remember the last time you had a good night of sleep. Instead of counting sheep, you’re counting the number of hours you’ll get if you fall asleep right at the present moment. Unfortunately, with each passing minute, your number of hours is reduced. Nighttime anxiety is a struggle many people face. Fortunately, there are ways to address it.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “I am a perfectionist” before. Whether you were the one that spoke those words or you heard them from a loved one, classmate, or colleague, you’re familiar with the phrase and what it means. Perfectionism is often seen as a good thing. You’re striving for the best. You have extremely high standards for yourself. 10 out of 10. 100%. A perfect score. No errors or mistakes. No need for improvement. In reality, perfectionism can actually be an issue because nothing can be truly perfect all the time. Let’s learn more about perfectionism and why it’s actually a problem.
You want nothing more than to come home from work and crawl into bed. You’ve practically been dreaming about it since you woke up this morning. This week has felt long. You’re exhausted. And to be honest, you haven’t been sleeping that well. When you finally get home from work, you cook yourself dinner, shower, and start to get ready for bed. You run through your list of to-dos before bed. Teeth brushed. Check. Face washed. Check. Pajamas on. Check. Alarm set. Check. Lights off. Check. You crawl into bed, pull the covers up to your chin, and plug in your phone. You close your eyes and you wait until sleep takes over your body. But it doesn’t happen. Instead, your mind starts racing. You can’t stop thinking about events that took place during your day, from years ago, and even events that haven’t even occurred yet. Your heartbeat quickens. You’re antsy and restless. Instead of your eyes greeting your eyelids and wandering off to a peaceful sleep, you’re met with anxiety instead. What makes anxiety worse at night?
A pocket watch swaying back and forth. A spiral of white and black swirling and spinning. Closing your eyes. Clearing your mind. Entering a state of hypnosis. I know what you’re thinking, ‘hypnosis?!’ It’s something we see in cartoons or is sometimes even used as a premise in thriller movies. However, there’s a lot that TV and movies get wrong about hypnosis.
Anxiety can happen at any moment, and for many different reasons. Life events like work stress, global events, past relationships, social obligations, and family conflict are some of the main culprits when it comes to triggering anxiety. But anxiety can also be fueled by physical things like caffeine intake, lack of sleep, and diet. That being said, it shouldn’t be that hard to believe that hormones could play a part in your anxiety as well.
Expressive art can be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders. The act of creating art distracts both the mind and body from overwhelming sensations brought on by anxiety; it redirects your concentration toward the process of art making.
Exercise can go a long way in helping you manage your anxiety long term. In addition to benefits like heart health, regular exercise can boost your mood and ease anxiety symptoms. But how?
Anxiety is an incredibly common mental health condition, but it’s also a very manageable one. While the symptoms of anxiety don’t typically go away on their own, treatment can help you overcome your fears and take control of your life again.