Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Do you have anxiety symptoms? Contrary to what many think, anxiety can affect anyone, at any time and for “no reason.” Therefore, it is important that you know how to identify and treat this increasingly common condition.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental disorder that results from excessive excitement of the central nervous system . It is characterized by an almost constant worry. Anxiety and lack of rest cause discomfort and tension.

This is a normal reaction to situations that can cause fear, doubt or expectation. It is considered normal when it manifests, for example, hours before a job interview, the publication of the approval in a contest, the birth of a child, a trip, a delicate surgery or a financial problem. In such cases, anxiety acts as a signal that prepares one to face the challenge and, even if it is not overcome, it favors adaptation to new living conditions.

But when the person has recurring symptoms of distress, such as fear and constant insomnia, which affect the day to day, then it can be considered pathological .

In this article we explain how to help children with anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety

There are many symptoms that can indicate a case of anxiety. Since each person is unique, the type, intensity and frequency of symptoms can vary greatly, but here are some of the main ones :

  • Chills and cold
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Need for sugar, candy, or chocolate
  • Palpitations
  • Nervous tics
  • Numbness and tingling, loss of sensation
  • Persistent muscle pain and tension
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Exaggerated concerns about health, money, family, or work
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Persistent thoughts, melodies, and concepts
  • Emotional emptiness
  • Exaggerated worries, tensions or fears (the person cannot relax, leading to insomnia, read this article for more information on sleeping problems )
  • Lack of control over thoughts, images, or attitudes that are repeated regardless of will
  • Exaggerated fear of death or imminent danger

Causes of anxiety

The trigger for anxiety is something that the individual interprets as harmful , it is extremely variable from one person to another because the facts are not interpreted by everyone in the same way. One person can become extremely anxious the day before an exam, even to the point of vomiting and suffering from insomnia , while another person can cope with this situation in a more natural way. Why? Because the first person interprets this test as possible life-giving progress, but thinks that he has not prepared himself and that it will be terrible if he fails. The second person regards such a test as a possibility of progress but gives much less importance to the negative possibilities.

Common causes of anxiety include the first day at a new job, the birth of a child, marriage, surgery, being fired, buying a home, and trouble with the law . However, you have to remember that this is something very individual.

Treating anxiety

It is important to understand that anxiety, when it passes the levels considered normal, is considered as serious a disease as any other (maybe more!). Therefore it should only be treated with the medical advice of a psychiatrist .

Treatment may include drugs such as anxiolytics, antidepressants, or tranquilizers such as:

  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Fluoxetine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Valerian

These resources, which should always be indicated by the psychiatrist, generally act on the nervous system in order to reduce the exaggerated worry, tension, fear or fear that something bad could happen. These anxiolytic drugs can be used in the treatment of anxiety and panic syndrome, but they should not be used in a prolonged and uncontrolled way because they can cause dependence.

Tips for managing anxiety

As we have indicated previously, anxiety is a disease and should always be treated under the guidance of a healthcare professional . However, there are practices that have been shown to help prevent and treat anxiety. They should never replace medical treatment, but rather serve as prevention and as ways to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Practice physical exercise

The most common way to treat anxiety is to practice physical exercises because they increase the production of serotonin , a substance that increases the sensation of pleasure.

Walking at least half an hour, three times a week, can help you deal with anxiety. The time to walk, in addition to being an exercise for the body, is also usually a rest for the mind in the form of active meditation. A half-hour walk is a repetitive movement, which relaxes the brain and “cools the head” of negative thoughts.

Look at this article that explains many types of physical exercises that you can do even with little time or a poor physical shape.

Control your breathing

To reduce autonomic nervous system reactions, you must control your breathing .

This can be done by inhaling slowly through your nose with your mouth closed. Inhale and let the abdomen expand, that is, let the air fill your belly, not your chest. Then exhale slowly, expelling the air through your mouth. You can do this anywhere, at any time. It’s very simple, but it works!

In addition, when you are in a quiet environment, with the possibility of meditating, you can take the opportunity to apply a relaxation technique. Relaxation combined with diaphragmatic breathing reduces tachycardia and tremors.


After recommending the proposals for physical exercises and breath control, we think that yoga is perfect for this.

It offers us the possibility of learning to control the mind and body at the same time . This control, which is obtained through a combination of breathing, meditation and body movement techniques, results in increased flexibility, muscle strengthening, increased vitality and more control over stress.

Besides yoga, other popular alternatives for anxious people include massage and acupuncture sessions, as well as tai chi.

Improve diet

The richer and more nutritious the food, the better. A well-nourished body and brain gives much less room for illnesses such as anxiety.

To control it, we eat foods that are a source of tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin, such as bananas and chocolate . But it should be done in moderation, so as not to gain weight. For other beneficial foods, check out the “ Feed Your Brain!  .

Another technique is to take tryptophan in capsules along with vitamin B6 and magnesium . Taurine and glutamine are other amino acids that can also help because they increase the availability of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which the body uses to control anxiety physiologically. They can also be taken in capsule form, but only under the supervision of an expert physician.

There are even types of teas , although many of them have substances that act as mild sedatives and can help control daily anxiety. The best known and most studied plants with this action are passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile and valerian.


Aromatherapy is excellent as an adjunct in the treatment of anxiety, in support of conventional medicine.

Research on aromatherapy has shown that we all react, consciously or unconsciously, to stimuli from smells . When used well, scents are very effective in awakening memories or calming, and certain scents are more likely to cause emotional and / or physical reactions, soothing the nervous system and activating psychic centers.

Aromatherapy essential oils induce changes in mood, giving a feeling of well-being and reducing stress . The aromatherapy treatment can be done through baths, massages and inhalation of relaxing and invigorating essential oils.

The drops of essential oils should always be diluted and the vegetable oils are used for massage.

When we want to inhale them, mix a few drops of essential oils in a cup of hot water and breathe deeply. Learn about some essential oils that help calm and relax:

  • Lavender
  • Of Orange
  • Lemongrass
  • Of camomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Of lemon

You can find all of them in this article on Aromatherapy: the power of essential oils.

Have you suffered from anxiety or do you know someone who suffers from it? If so, how did you get over it? Did you adopt a specific attitude that helped you? Share your experience in the comments!

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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