Fear and Anxiety
By: Christelle Kankalian, MS – Intern Therapist
A lot of individuals struggle with anxiety and fear on a day-to-day basis. It’s perfectly normal… and can even be helpful. But, in some cases, anxiety can boil over to fear. That’s when we may struggle with our emotional and mental health.
Fear and anxiety can go hand in hand. Everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. They are like unwelcome guests that occasionally overstay their welcome. However, these emotions, as uncomfortable as it may be, serve essential purposes in our lives. In this blog, we will explore fear and anxiety, understand their origins, and discuss effective ways to manage and cope with them.
Fear and anxiety are often used interchangeably, but they are distinct emotions with different triggers and responses. Fear is a natural reaction to an immediate threat, triggering a “fight or flight” response. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a more prolonged state of an uneasiness, intense worrying, regarding uncertainties, future tripping, and sometimes it may not have a clear or specific trigger.
Fear and anxiety can negatively impact our physical and emotional well-beings. Chronic stress resulting from these emotions can lead to physical health issues and exacerbate existing mental health conditions. When fear and anxiety become overwhelming, they can erode the quality of life. Relationships may suffer, and everyday tasks may become daunting. It's crucial to recognize when these emotions are starting to take over and seek help and strategies to manage them effectively.
Managing Fear and Anxiety:
Managing fear and anxiety often requires a multi-faceted approach. What works for one person may not work for another, so it's important to find the coping strategies that resonate with the person who’s using them. Some individuals find comfort in mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Others may benefit from professional therapy, medication, and other healthy activates (i.e. exercise, social interactions, etc…). Building resilience through positive thinking and a strong support system can also be invaluable.
One of the most important messages to remember is that someone is not not alone in their struggle with fear and anxiety. These emotions are a universal part of the human experience, and countless individuals grapple with them daily. Seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals can provide a critical catalyze to jumpstarting healing and returning to level ground.
While fear and anxiety can be unwelcome guests in our lives, they are also our body's way of signaling potential threats or challenges. Understanding the distinctions between these emotions, their impact, and effective coping strategies can empower you to regain control over your emotional well-being. You don't have to face these emotions alone; there are resources and support available to help you navigate the storm within.
See below for link to various mental health associations:
If you are in a life-threatening situation or emergency, do not email or text. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline, at 1-800-273-8255. Your call will be routed to the crisis center near you. If it’s an emergency, call 911, 988 (Mental health hotline) or go to your nearest emergency room.
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