Prevention of anxiety essentially involves an awareness of life’s stresses and your own ability to cope with them. This can often be a difficult task in our busy and hectic 21st century.
Given the fast pace of our lives, it’s important to develop coping mechanisms to handle stress. They might include:
- Relaxation exercises, including deep breathing
- Good sleep habits
- Healthy diet
- Interpersonal skills in dealing with difficult people and situations or parenting skills training in dealing with your children
Keep in mind that anxiety disorders are different from normal anxiety. They are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting nearly 1 in 5 adults. They can involve periods of excessive worrying or fear that is more than would be expected from everyday kinds of stresses. They may also involve irrational fears about specific situations (phobias), or physical kinds of symptoms like headaches, stomach aches and muscle aches (called “somatic anxiety"), or sudden bursts of intense physical anxiety with symptoms such as a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness or tingling sensations (panic attacks).