We experience a wide range of emotions during the course of our daily lives. Some,
like happiness and excitement, are pleasant, while others, such as anger or anxiety, are not. Anxiety is a common emotion which affects nearly everyone. We can become anxious for any number of reasons.
First, what is anxiety? It is an emotion which can be caused by a number of factors
like a mental or physical condition, any situation or an occurrence, drugs, or a combination of these factors. In some cases, it can occur without a cause as well. It interferes with the normal functioning of a person. Fortunately, there are many ways in which we can cope with anxiety attacks and its related problems. Let us have a look at some of the most common causes of anxiety and how best to tackle them.
The most common external factors that cause anxiety are:
1. Work-related stress: Heavy workload, unpleasant working conditions, long hours,
politics or an overbearing boss are just some things which cause stress at the
2. Stress due to personal reasons: If a person’s marriage going through a rough patch,
or is having relationship issues, it is reason enough for him/her to experience
3. Financial Stress: This is another common cause of anxiety attacks. Many people feel
insecure about their jobs and have intermittent fears about their financial condition
in the present as well as the future.
4. Stress due to medical issues: Anxiety can result from a serious medical illness, or as
a symptom of illnesses like heart attack, heat stroke, hypoglycemia etc. It can also be
a side-effect of medication being taken for other reasons.
5. Stress due to emotional trauma: It is very common to find people who have been
victims of any crime or physical/sexual abuse, natural disasters etc. having bouts of
anxiety. A commonly used term used in such instances is Post Traumatic Stress
6. Panic Disorders: This is a mental condition which manifests itself in the form of
palpitations, dizziness and breathlessness.
7. Phobic disorders: Some people may experience irrational fears which can rise to the
level of panic attacks when confronted with particular situations. For example, fear
of heights, spiders etc.
Let us now look at some ways to effectively combat anxiety attacks:
1. While it is always important to lead a healthy lifestyle, it assumes even more importance. Pay attention to your diet and exercise routine. Exercising boosts the endorphin levels in the body, which are basically “feel-good” hormones. Avoid coffee, or reduce the intake, as caffeine can make you jittery.
2. Meditation: Take some time out for yourself to engage in calm-inducing activities
like meditation. Choose a quiet place, set a timer, and close your eyes. Take deep breaths to help your body relax.
3. Talk to people: Occasionally venting out your feelings to a family member or a friend
can help you release the burden off your shoulders. Confide in someone whom you are very close to. The feelings of reassurance that someone supports you and is looking out for you can be a powerful weapon against anxiety disorders.
4. It’s all in your mind: Anxiety is an internal condition, and more often than not, can be
controlled by the mind. Being optimistic and thinking positive thoughts may not be
easy, but can be incredibly helpful. For example, if the anxiety is due to a specific
fear such as fear of failure, picture yourself successfully facing and overcoming that
5. Distract yourself: If you find yourself experiencing an impending anxiety attack,
engage in some useful, meaningful and constructive activity to distract yourself. It
could be a hobby like playing music, or writing poetry etc. Anything which can keep
you occupied. Because as the saying goes: An idle mind is a devil’s workshop!
6. Don’t overhype things: Put things in perspective and confront your fears. Often, we
find that our fears and apprehensions are baseless, and we blow things out of
proportion, making our problems appear bigger than they actually are.
7. Medical Treatment If everything else fails, or if anxiety is caused due to medical or
physical ailment, medications can help alleviating your anxiety issues. For example, if
the anxiety is caused due to an overactive thyroid gland, surgery and thyroid-
regulating medications can help. Drug-abuse treatment can help relieve anxiety
caused due to substance-abuse and counselling can address psychological causes like
strain in marriage.
These are some of the easy tips to deal with anxiety. The key is to always be in control of the situation and not let it overwhelm you.