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Clarifying Anxiety and How To Manage It

Updated: May 24

Anxiety is a state of feeling worried, fearful, or stressed due to a trigger or sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. Anxiety visits most of us at least one point in our lives. And for others, it's a visit that never ends. Those who live in this constant state of fear and uneasiness are typically struggling with a greater issue. According to the NIH, if a person is experiencing persistent anxiety symptoms lasting 6 months or longer, they may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Take a look a look at the list below to learn about obvious and covert symptoms of anxiety. 

General Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety, as you can see, is a spectrum. It can be mild or severe. For some, anxiety is a constant worry that manifests in the form of teeth grinding at night, migraines, heart palpitations, and more. Many people may not even notice the symptoms because of compensating for them for so long. Of course, having one or some of these symptoms does not automatically equal an anxiety disorder. However, if you struggle with the symptoms listed below, speak to your primary care provider about the best option for you. 

Indirect symptoms

  • Procrastination

  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Sense of impending doom

Direct physical symptoms:

  • Tremors, mostly in hands 

  • Sore muscles

  • Sweating

  • Heart palpitations

  • Digestive issues

  • Fatigue, headaches, stomach aches (in children)

Managing anxiety can be as simple as changing your diet or sleeping earlier at night.

Older adults

While anxiety can come from within, stemming from fears or past traumas, a person's current situation in life can also have a profound effect on the levels of anxiety they experience. At each stage of life, we struggle with different types of issues. The issues that can affect the older population include financial hardships, loss of loved ones, fear of death, health issues, chronic pain, and more. 

Older adults need a reliable support system, especially if they are alone. There are many opportunities in community recreational centers to join groups and classes like dancing, art, music, and much more. Social interaction as well as physical activity can greatly help anyone struggling with anxiety.


Children struggling with anxiety can be confused for having other issues. Children demonstrate the physical symptoms of anxiety more. They may have trouble sleeping, eating, fatigue, and frequent stomach pains. Managing the symptoms of anxiety in children is a little different in that you have to help them cope with the world as they develop. Helping them identify their triggers and how to avoid them healthily is a major key to managing these symptoms. Helping them accept their feelings and viewing them neutrally rather than negatively can also greatly improve their chances of managing anxiety. Another key step that is vital to helping a child manage anxiety is noticing signs early. 

Anxiety is invasive and more prevalent than people may think. Be sure to check in with loved ones and even yourself regularly to see if anxiety may be running your life. Eliminating triggers, recognizing and building your support system, and seeking help from your primary care provider will help you combat the powerful grip of anxiety.


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