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Fighting Back Against Anxiety

March 22, 2021

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As people face this pandemic, staying six feet apart, not being able to see their loved ones, having to wear masks, and navigating the often confusing world of virtual learning can be stressful and overwhelming. This anxiety can display itself in several ways, and it can impact people with varying levels of strength, especially those were suffering from anxiety even before Covid-19.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 40 million adults live with an anxiety disorder. Despite how common anxiety is in America, there are still a lot of questions and misunderstandings surrounding it.

What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s way of reacting to stress, as well as a feeling of fear about what is to come in the future, and what has happened in the past. When experiencing anxiety, people’s brains send a message to their bodies that they are in intense danger, when in reality they may be physically safe.

In a similar way, turbulence on a plane is very common and yet it does not automatically specify that there is something wrong with the plane. Anxiety can send people into panic mode, thinking that something extremely terrible is about to take place, and simple assurances that “everything will be fine” may do little to stop this.

What triggers anxiety? Health issues such as cancer and other diagnosed illnesses, medications like birth control or weight loss pills, drinking caffeine, skipping daily meals, having a negative mindset, attending social events, and just dealing with conflict in relationships can all act as triggers. Anxiety can have a remarkable impact on our brains, developing in the amygdala, an area of the brain that rules emotional responses.

What happens in your body when you experience anxiety and or an anxiety attack? Anxiety releases a deluge amount of chemicals that trigger our hormones like adrenaline. This increases your heart and blood rate so your brain can receive more oxygen. “My stomach almost feels as if butterflies are in my stomach and a churning sensation takes place, or I will feel extremely nauseous and uncomfortable,“ said FCHS sophomore Taylor Morgan Brooks.

Ways of coping with anxiety can be stressful in and of themselves, not only because individuals may never really know what helps, and what doesn’t. Research has shown that there are many ways to cope with anxiety in natural ways, including going for a run, talking to a loved one, taking deep breaths and counting breaths, watching your favorite Rom-Com, and reading your favorite book. “I like to go on my phone, or talk to someone I know to distract my thoughts,” said sophomore Jocelyn Beauliea. Sometimes it takes as little as talking to someone to distract your thoughts.

Many people do not understand that certain anxiety medications can actually worsen your anxiety, which can lead to your anxiety becoming more common. Some of the general side effects associated with anxiety medications can leave you feeling confused, clumsy, and have you feeling worn out and drowsy. The higher the dose, the more severe the side effects are. So be sure to think carefully and speak with your doctor before you take them.

Here are a few natural remedies you can use to treat anxiety:

  • Stay active
  • Eliminate processed foods
  • Ditch caffeine 
  • Get enough sleep
  • Ditch watching TV or getting on your phone before bed
  • Eat a diet rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes
  • Use essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, grapefruit and sage
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About the Contributor
Photo of Natalie Haislip
Natalie Haislip, FCHS Journalist

Natalie is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. She plays basketball, dances, and enjoys hanging out with her dog and watching Netflix.

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