Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on August 30, 2021
Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Occasional anxiety is a normal reaction to uncertainty about what’s going to happen next, whether that’s in the next few minutes, days, or months.
Mental health experts define anxiety as worry over a threat that’s still in your future. Thinking about a conversation you dread, for example, could twist your stomach into knots days before it happens. Your heart may race before an exam or presentation. You might lie awake at night worried about whether you’ll catch COVID-19 at the grocery store.
It’s also normal to want to get rid of those uncomfortable, pit-of-the-stomach feelings as quickly as possible. But that approach can make you more anxious, says David H. Rosmarin, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
“When you worry about getting rid of your anxiety, you’re signalling your nervous system that you have even more to be anxious about. And that makes your anxiety worse,” he says.
Keep in mind that if your anxiety is long-lasting and interferes with your daily life, you could have an anxiety disorder. In that case, you may need treatment to overcome it.
Calm Anxiety by Accepting It
It’s not what people expect to hear. But one of the most effective ways to ease occasional anxiety is to accept it, says Rosmarin, who is also founder of the Center for Anxiety in New York City.
(Click the link to read on… https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/ways-to-reduce-anxiety )