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On GAD: Defining Anxiety and Shifting to a Positive Perspective



Anxiety is felt by everyone, though not as intense or as prolonged or as frequent as how some people experience it. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is complex, yet it is possible to define it as well as distinguish it from other mental health issues. Even if dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder may seem like a huge challenge, it is possible to live a quality of life by focusing on what you can control and having an expert on your side in your journey.


What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?


Anxiety is something that each and every one of us experiences. In fact, it is even necessary to have it at some level, together with boredom, to reach flow (Oppland, 2016). However, we cannot deny that there are times when anxiety feels overwhelming and too much to handle; it interferes with our daily lives and relationships. Such overwhelming anxiety is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).


Some of its symptoms include: (1) persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events; (2) overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes; (3) perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren't; (4) difficulty handling uncertainty; (5) indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision; (6) inability to set aside or let go of a worry; (7) inability to relax, feeling restless, and feeling keyed up or on edge; and (8) difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind "goes blank." Some people also experience physical symptoms, such as fatigue, trouble sleeping, muscle tension or muscle aches, trembling, feeling twitchy, nervousness or being easily startled, sweating, nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, and irritability (Mayo Clinic, 2017).


What makes GAD Different?


Although there are some shared similarities between GAD and other mental health issues, like depression and other phobias, there are key differences that make it different. Anxiety may be seen every now and then for people with depression; phobias are worries about a specific living or non-living thing. People diagnosed with GAD, on the other hand, worry about a lot of things in 6 months or more, and they may find it difficult to point out where their worries are coming from (Carey, 2022).


Focusing on Things We Can Control


GAD is a challenging mental health problem, but on a positive note, there are things within our control that we can include in our lifestyle to help us deal with it. These behavior changes include doing regular exercise, eating balanced and nutrient-dense diet, having enough sleep, practicing yoga and meditation, avoiding stimulants (e.g., coffee, diet pills, and caffeine pills), and talking with someone you trust about your fears and worries (Carey, 2022). Aside from these lifestyle changes, having an expert on your side to help you conquer GAD can set you up for success.


Indeed, each and every one of us is different, specifically on how we make sense of our feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Some people need to work harder for their mental wellness, and that is totally okay. Seeking help serves as a stepping stone in having a better quality of life, and we at Fidecita wish you the best on your mental health endeavors. Click here to know more about Fidecita HR Advisory’s Mental Health Care services.



References

Oppland, M. (2016, December 16). 8 Traits of Flow According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi-father-of-flow/


Mayo Clinic. (2017, October 13). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20360803


Carey, E. (2022, September 13). An Overview of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder



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