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Normal Stress or Anxiety?

Anxiety is something we all experience at one time or another, but how can you know when it is more than normal concern? While being worried about something that causes you stress can be a normal reaction, if you are having some difficulty dealing with this feeling, anxiety may be an issue for you. Symptoms of anxiety can include restlessness, muscle tension, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches and irritability. Being anxious can also cause shortness of breath and excessive sweating.


If these symptoms are often tied to stressful thoughts or situations, you begin to experience feelings of fear in situations where no threat exists, or you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or fearful when faced with normal situations such as socializing, you may be transitioning from normal stress to anxiety or panic disorders.


Luckily, anxiety disorders are very treatable. Early intervention can often resolve an anxiety issue before it begins to seriously disrupt your life.  Unfortunately, embarrassment and even anxiety itself often interferes with people seeking help.


The key to dealing with anxiety is to separate the situation causing your stress from the reaction that you have to that situation. By paying attention to scenarios where you begin feeling the physical symptoms of anxiety you can identify triggers to your anxious feelings and learn new techniques to deal with these feelings.


Finding a solution for anxiety is a personal journey with many different paths to success. For some people, self-help books may provide the guidance necessary to combat anxiety. For others, professionally guided lifestyle change to reduce stress, avoiding stress triggers, or learning new ways for handling stressful situations will keep anxiety under control. Whatever path you chose, whether with professional guidance or on your own, the earlier you face the problem, the easier it will be to resolve.