Fear is a human emotion. It arises in us when our mind and body perceive
danger. For example, if we are confronted with a tiger we feel fear, our mind sends signals to our body and our body secretes hormones which force us to run away for safety. It is an important signal for an important reason - our survival. This response is called flight/flight response.
Anxiety is similar to this except that in this case the threat is not necessarily real- because of our own beliefs, biases or thinking patterns we may have started perceiving non- threatening things as threatening and our neurons started firing in a similar response. For example, we may feel a sense of panic before our exams- thinking that they define our life and if we fail everything will be lost- which is not truly the case. Sometimes the causes are real - like domestic abuse or substance abuse where we are actually getting harmed.
In both scenarios help is available and we should not hesitate to seek it as soon as possible.
There are a no. of factors responsible for anxiety to develop in a person. Common factors are - genetic or circumstantial. Genetic factors are biological in nature meaning we inherit them from our ancestors and these run in families- either we have them by birth or we learn them during our childhood while closely observing our families or relatives subconsciously. Circumstantial factors are those that are created due to a situation that arises in life- for example, someone meets with an accident or encounters a traumatic situation like getting stuck inside a house during an earthquake and develops a fear of closed spaces. When we are feeling anxious typical symptoms include-
To assess where you are in your anxiety levels and whether you need professional help or not- try https://www.psycom.net/anxiety-test.
To cope with anxiety there are many therapies available that work on different aspects of the mind like staying in the present (Mindfulness based therapies), working on our thoughts (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and working on our acceptance of ourselves (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). To learn more about them read https://pahoti.org/how-therapy-helps, to practice therapy online (under the guidance of a mental health practitioner) try http://satiapp.com.
To get professional help please contact a mental health practitioner or contact us.
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