It is not fear but feels like it. It isn’t life threatening but sometimes, the sweat comes running down the corner of the head and makes you feel this is the end. All of us have felt anxiety sometime in our lives. It is a feeling that millions share around the world.
This thing called anxiety, what is it? Is it good or bad? What does it feel like exactly? These are just a few questions in the pool of known and unknown. Each individual has its own set of lived experiences with anxiety & it is difficult to put confidence in one kind of definition.
For example, going on your first date and imagining all kinds of mishaps that you’re capable of doing such as, “What if I say something stupid? What if I spill coffee on this white shirt? What if this person thinks I am boring? Should I take flowers or would it look desperate?”.
You may not feel this anxious for a date but looks like our writer did and is just letting you know about it 😉
Other examples include fear of public speaking or meeting a large group of people. Sometimes it is the fear of financial stability and sometimes it’s an existential crisis- who am I?
Existential questions are perennial and so is the fear of financial security. Anxiety is something one cannot get rid of but it can be managed. The management depends on what kind of anxiety you have.
With advancement of research and scientific temperament, our world has been able to decipher diverse forms of anxiety. One particular form which we are going to put our focus on is situational anxiety.
What Is Situational Anxiety?
It is defined as a normal worrying reaction to a specific situation or event. Situational anxiety is an everyday experience and thus, defined as “normal” because everyone has events that are bound to create tension. There’s no such thing as “care free” life, right?
The world’s renowned psychiatric manual Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder has no diagnosis criteria for it either. Situational anxiety is not life threatening or causes dysfunction like other anxiety disorders do such as generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
How Is It Different From Other Anxiety Disorders?
The major point of difference is in terms of impact on everyday life. Situational anxiety isn’t persistent and can be managed easily with the right interventions.
On the other hand, a mental disorder like generalized anxiety disorder, the worry/fear/tension is looming on a person’s mind all the time. There is perpetual mental distress and it is a tiring experience. It bogs down not the physical body but the spirit to live. It is often uncontrollable.
If diagnosed early then any kind of anxiety is treatable and manageable. The positive outcome might take time and again, each individual will have their own set of experiences.
The Signs & Symptoms To Look For
A famous philosopher, Heidegger, defined anxiety as “nothing and nowhere”. It is hard to define. As mentioned already, each individual has their own set of experiences.
People find it hard to believe that one can lose sleep over anxiety but that’s true. Common physical signs and symptoms of situational anxiety are:
- Sweating uncontrollably
- Racing heartbeat
- Digestion issues such as diarrhea/bloating
- Dry mouth
- Extreme restlessness
- Muscle tension
- Shortness of breath
- Urgent need to urinate
These are the most common and observed physical signs and symptoms of situational anxiety. You may have a disparate experience and that’s okay. For example, it may feel like a heavy pain in the chest, as if the gravity is pulling you down really strongly.
This brings us to the psychological aspect of it. Remember Heidegger’s nothing and nowhere? Sounds vague and that’s how it feels really. This is because anxiety is a function of many things.
Situational anxiety is a function of biology, philosophy, and culture. To simplify it in the light of technological world:
It’s both a hardware problem (I’am wired badly) and a software problem (I run faulty logic programs that make me think anxious thoughts)
-Scott Stossel in My Age of Anxiety
You may not agree with Scott. You may say it isn’t my fault. You’re right. In fact, anxiety has been associated with psychological trauma too.
Evolutionary speaking, situational anxiety is a necessary evil. It is this emotional state that helps our mind in alerting us of the danger. It helps in evaluating potential threats & hopefully assists in escaping it.
The problem arrives when one is not aware of how to give this anxiety a healthy spin. So, how can you do it? Is it really that easy?
Giving Your Anxiety A Healthy Spin
It is important to note the following before we dive into the ways to manage your situational anxiety:
A person cannot just simply decide not to be anxious anymore.
-Anxiety Care, UK
If controlling our mind was that easy, we wouldn’t have had any issues, right?
- Learn about it. Knowledge about yourself will give you a better and more intimate opportunity to decipher the causes. Calling for help when you need it will also become a lot easier.
- Give your anxious thoughts validation but try not to enable them. Avoiding that job interview because you have imagined the worst won’t be fruitful. Right?
- Add herbal supplements such as kava and CBD to your everyday life. Plenty of studies have proved their efficacy in helping destressing minds. For example, according to Harvard Health, Kava can help with mild to moderate anxiety.
- Reach out to a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist. Medical assistance in the form of anti-anxiety drugs have proven to be very effective. Similarly, talking about your anxiety is a great way to relieve your inner self of the worry.
- Use relaxation techniques such as meditation. Deep breathing allows the mind and body to relax.
- Exercise and try to eat healthy. Devise a list of ways that help you, also called self-help strategies.
We hope next time you’re having anxious thoughts, you have access to these coping strategies. Hang in there. Ozia is here for you. In case you’re looking for natural remedies then we have two great options for you.
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& hey, in case you’d like to learn more about the mechanism between kava and CBD in anxiety then we’ve got you covered! Simply click on these links and enjoy well-researched articles by our team.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2007, December). From the Journals: Herbs and supplements for anxiety: Kava, inositol may help – Harvard Health. Harvard Health; https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/From_the_Journals_Herbs_and_supplements_for_anxiety_Kava_inositol_may_help
Managing and treating anxiety. (n.d.). Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/anxiety-treatment-options#managing-anxiety