According to Psychologist Jelena Keemanovic (2019), anxiety is eclipsing all other problems as a major psychological issue of the 21st century. Nearly one third of American adults say they feel more anxious today than a year ago according to a May poll from the American Psychiatric Association. The number of Google searches for anxiety has increased steadily over the past five years. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that anxiety disorders have become the most common group of mental disorders, with about one fifth of U.S. adults struggling with an anxiety disorder each year, and almost one-third experiencing an anxiety disorder during their lifetimes.
Why is anxiety increasing? As we have evolved, we have become better at sensing threats in our environment. We have inherited the genes of our ancestors who excelled at fighting or fleeing from dangerous situations and thus, more likely to survive.
Living in the developed world, we are not in constant contact with life threatening situations but our threat detecting system remains vigilant and it is being blasted 24-7 due to the 24 hour news cycle and digital interconnection. (Wilson, 2019) With photos, articles of recent shootings, trade wars, recalls, political tweets, etc. our anxiety has constant opportunities to rear it’s ugly head.
Another problem is how we try to deal with this anxiety. When you are feeling anxious, what do you do? Watch a movie, eat, drink, browse the internet, play video games, date app swipe, overwork? We do just about anything in the moment to reduce our anxiety. Overall people are becoming less tolerant of distress.
There are many ways to reduce anxiety such as disconnect from our electronic devices, move more, sleep enough, and prioritize personal time with family and friends. Would you be willing to disconnect from Facebook for a few days? That alone can help with stress. Turn off all your electronic devices at least an hour before bed?
Did you know that hypnosis can be an effective tool in managing anxiety? You can learn to de-stress by noticing when your body becomes tense, becoming more aware of your thoughts and using your body and mind to relax without resorting to escape methods such as pulling out your phone or reaching for a drink.
If you find that you are feeling anxious more frequently, please contact me. I can help by working with you to relax both your body and your mind and teaching you how to do that for yourself.