Anxiety Information and Tips

Anxiety Information and Tips

This document contains information and tips that will help you understand and treat anxiety disorders.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to a threat or stressful situation. Anxiety can be helpful in some situations such as when being stressed about an upcoming presentation at work motivates us to prepare for it. Anxiety can also help us to identify opportunities for self-growth or areas in our lives that need some adjusting or change.

In the case of anxiety disorders, however, these feelings of worry and nervousness are excessive, persistent and/or interfere with an individual’s relationships, work, physical health, and sense of well-being.

Individuals with an anxiety disorder may also experience:

  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent stomachaches and/or chest pain not caused by other medical conditions
  • Crying spells
  • Sweating or shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat

When To Seek Help

It is persistent

  • Your level of anxiety is out of proportion to the situation or is age inappropriate
  • It is hindering your ability to function normally
  • It is causing you to avoid visiting places or interacting with people out of irrational fears
  • It is affecting your relationships with loved ones
  • It is interfering with your ability to work
  • It is causing you to feel despair about the future
  • You have noticed a significant decrease in your level of tolerance for minor frustrations
  • You often turn to alcohol or substance use to cope with feelings of worry and/or fear

Treating Anxiety

If you think you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder, seek help from a registered health professional (e.g. social worker, counsellor, psychologist, nurse, family doctor, psychiatrist).

The following have been found to help manage some symptoms of anxiety:

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Limiting caffeine
  • Learning or maintaining healthy sleep habits
  • Practicing deep breathing exercises
  • Practicing mindfulness

How Therapy Can Help

Therapy can help you:

  • Better understand your particular anxiety “triggers”
  • Identify and change negative thought patterns that may be contributing to your anxiety
  • Learn exercises and techniques for managing anxiety symptoms
  • Gain a greater sense of confidence facing situations that currently make you anxious
  • Receive support and learn strategies from others who are also experiencing anxiety (Group Therapy)
  • Receive support in addressing issues in important relationships in your life that may be contributing to and/or affected by your anxiety (Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Parent-Coaching)

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