Anxiety is an emotional state caused by the expectation of danger or threat. While fear is a basic human emotion associated with the instinct of self-preservation and appears immediately at the moment of danger.
The terms “fear” and “anxiety” are not synonymous, but they can be used interchangeably when it comes to situational anxiety (a state at a given moment in time).
In the normal state, the self-preservation function encourages action, but there are also moments of apathy when anxiety intensifies.
We will tell you how to cope with anxiety on your own and determine its level in yourself.
How to measure the level of anxiety
American psychologist Charles Spielberger studied more than 117 signs of human anxiety and created a scale to determine its level. His “assessment of the level of anxiety” is divided into situational and personal. Situational is responsible for the state at a given moment in time and the influence of external circumstances – for example, self-isolation. Personal – the character of a person.
To determine “your level” of anxiety, you can take a test of 40 short questions.
What is alarming
The main factors that provoke increased anxiety in us are loneliness, problems at work, relationship problems, health, environment, and all sorts of conflicts.
Our way of life also has a great influence. For example, we are more likely to experience anxiety if we constantly hang on the phone or watch the news on TV. Digital progress has certainly made our life faster and better, but we pay for this comfort with an additional level of stress, new fears, and complexes due to the large flow of news.
Try to minimize the number of hours spent on the Internet. Walk in the fresh air, read, do yoga, cook, crochet, build LEGO – there are many more options than you might think.
Stages of anxiety
– Anxiety of waiting. People who foresee the most unfavorable of all possible situations suffer. Such anxiety can appear at certain moments or haunt a person constantly.
– Anxiety in the form of phobias is associated with certain situations and objects. For example, fear of loneliness, spiders, or darkness. It can be a clinical case if it is expressed in the form of panic attacks.
– Neurotic anxiety. This form of anxiety is the most serious and is found in many psychological diseases: hysterical, schizoid. There is a pathological level of fear here that destroys a person’s mental health.
The entire planet is now in fear of waiting due to the incessant flow of news and uncertainty. “Fear of waiting” or “free fear” is formed due to the flow of information in which we are constantly immersed. The following will describe tools that help to cope with situational anxiety that has nothing to do with clinical cases.
Feelings of fear can be easily confused, so before we talk about how to get rid of anxiety, we’ll learn how to identify it.
There are situations when we do not distinguish between emotions, therefore the so-called “false alarm” is formed. In this case, the first thing that psychologists can advise is to learn how to separate anxiety from a large stream of other emotions. Observe yourself – in what situations you are overwhelmed by anxiety. Divide these situations into those in which the anxiety is justified and those where it is not.
For example, you are on a bus and when you approach a bus stop, you are overtaken by a feeling of anxiety. On the one hand, it can be caused by the fear that you will miss your stop, or by a feeling of shame, as it is embarrassing to ask the driver to stop the car.
Or another example – you want to ask a question to the teacher in class, but you are afraid to raise your hand. This fear can arise from self-doubt and the expectation that classmates will laugh at you.
Sometimes anxiety comes from other feelings, such as shame or insecurity. Realizing this and overcoming it, you no longer have a reason for concern, and with it, the state of anxiety disappears.