Anxiety can be good for us in certain cases, and can be vital in motivating necessary change. (The same is true for the body's stress response--it is important, and healthy, if kept in check.) We need to have certain emotions that signal when we may be getting into a dangerous situation, when we might need to change our plans, and when we would do well to call in some reinforcements. This is where anxiety is helpful. However, long-term anxiety, inappropriate anxiety, debilitating anxiety, and other stronger forms of anxiety can be problematic, and can defeat the purpose that anxiety is designed to achieve: awareness of danger and motivation to change. This can lead to chronic stress and 'analysis paralysis' at best, and anxiety disorders and health issues at worst.
The first step in dealing with anxiety is to become aware of what it is that is causing you anxiety. Sometimes this is simple--it's easy to be aware of the job that you dread going to, or the relationship that is always on your mind. But when you find yourself feeling general feelings of anxiety that are interfering with your sleep or affecting your health, it's often less clear where these feelings are coming from. This article can help you to better understand anxiety and stress, and provides four easy steps for dealing with anxiety and the stress it causes. This free anxiety self-assessmentcan help you to determine whether your levels of anxiety are healthy or problematic. You can also see what other readers have to say about their most popular causes of anxiety, and share your own.
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