We all know what it is like to feel anxious. Natural anxiety reactions to stressful situations include: Those butterflies in your stomach before an interview, test or a date. Your heart pounding when you hear bad news or before speaking before a group of people. Sharing concerns or asserting yourself at work and with friends can cause you to feel worry, fidgety or sweaty. In addition, when people feel “stressed out” they typically report difficulty concentrating and report a mind block. Behavioral signs of stress and anxiety are teeth clenching, nail biting, pacing, and heavy breathing.

It is normal to feel these reactions when dealing with challenging, stressful or new situations such as death of a loved one, being sick, being a caregiver, divorce, job loss or new job, relationships and others. Anxiety is your body’s way of speaking to you. Your body is telling you that something is either not right or needs attention. If you listen to your body, the anxiety can be positive. For example, anxiety before taking an exam is a signal to your mind that you need to study. Anxiety can help motivate you to get done what is needed. So a moderate amount of anxiety can help you to stay alert, focused, motivated and on task.

When you feel anxious or scared, your body automatically shifts into survival mode. Stress is an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. Hormones are released and your body is at a heightened state of alarm. Anxiety becomes problematic when a person is constantly in this heightened state. For those who constantly feel overwhelmed by the worry, fear or anxiety to the point that the worry interferes with their daily functioning, relationships and sleep, then anxiety is no longer adaptive. Rather than being productive, the anxiety is harmful and seeps into the area of an anxiety disorder. The characteristic symptom of an anxiety disorder is a chronic or persistent fear or worry in situations where most other people would not feel the same way.

Are you constantly worried, on edge and feel tension? Does your anxiety prevent you from being productive or attending school, work or family responsibilities? Do you avoid activities, people or places because you are worried? Do you behave in a certain manner because you fear that if you don’t, something bad will happen? Do you experience sudden bursts of heart palpitations and panic?

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders can be physical, emotional and/or mental. Anxiety disorder is a general term for many different anxiety conditions and therefore symptoms vary from person to person. The good news is that there is help available. Anxiety treatment can help you to take back control of your life so that you can feel empowered rather than defeated. Dr. Cherwony can help you reduce your anxiety and learn to live your life in the way you hoped it would be.

How do peace, calm, serenity, balance and happiness sound? If your methods of coping with stress are unhealthy meaning that they do not contribute to your greater emotional and physical health, it is time to find healthier ways. Dr. Cherwony works with patients to help them learn to establish balance in their lives thereby eliminating stress. She will also teach you healthier ways to manage stress, your emotions and the world around you. Some people do not realize that there are healthier alternatives to smoking, alcohol, over or under eating, pills and drug use, oversleeping, and withdrawal. Some may also think that it is okay to distract oneself by over scheduling activities for each moment of the day.

Bills may still come in and family members may continue to be demanding. However, Dr. Cherwony can teach you how best to manage your stress by learning to relax your mind, listen to your body and nurture your soul. In doing so, you will be taking charge of your thoughts, emotions and schedule, leaving you in control of the way you deal with those challenging, stressful and anxiety producing situations.

Many individuals who struggle with anxiety also struggle with depression. The two conditions often go hand in hand.

Click here to learn more about depression.