Excessive anxiety is a very difficult and extremely uncomfortable state of mind to manage.
Humans were designed to have anxiety under certain circumstances, and the discomfort that anxiety generates is part of that design. Anxiety serves two purposes—to inform us that something in our external or internal world might be a danger to us, and to motivate us to take actions to change that perceived dangerous situation for the better.
For example, anxiety can wake me up in the morning and tell me that it's time to brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and head to work. There are countless situations in which anxiety can be helpful by spurring us on to take positive actions. But we're very often anxious about things for which anxiety is not warranted, and that type of anxiety is detrimental to our health and well-being.
Sometimes anxiety is exacerbated by chemical imbalances. And sometimes anxiety is made worse when a person has experienced trauma and is extremely sensitive to things such as disappointments, failures, losses, insults, humiliation, abandonment.
One can manage undesirable anxiety, though. To do so, two things are necessary. One is becoming able to observe anxiety rather than just becoming caught up in it. Another is developing techniques to control and rid yourself of unnecessary anxiety.
One such technique is predictability. To put that technique into play, people should predict in advance times and situations that are likely to create anxiety within them. They then should have a plan to do specific things that will lessen or even eliminate their inappropriate anxiety. Such a plan might entail steps such as breathing, meditation, light exercise, and journaling.
It's likely that you'll experience some degree of anxiety on any given day. It might be minor and barely noticeable, or it might be drastic, devastating, and incapacitating.
Unmanaged anxiety is usually what is at the root of destructive behavior. It's often the case that people who experienced traumatic events in childhood will do terrible things to other people and other creatures as a way of managing their anxiety. Some common causes of anxiety include the sense of abandonment, being smothered, being humiliated, not being loved, and financial insecurity.
Certain people experience excessive and destructive anxiety for reasons that go beyond issues associated with childhood trauma. Such people include those who are severely mentally ill, including psychopaths and sociopaths.
Some people—both those with severe mental illnesses and less disturbed people who nonetheless struggle—need intervention to help them handle their anxiety problems. Quite often, such intervention will help individuals overcome anxiety that’s largely driven by their traumatic pasts. Yet unfortunately there are people who are so far gone and broken that they cannot recover.
Those who can recover, though, will be those who are capable of engaging in self-help because they’ll be willing to take positive action. Such positive action will be in the form of activities that build self-esteem, such as meditation, therapy, breathing exercises, journaling, engaging in service, and other things.
It’s important to determine if your anxiety is caused by chemical imbalances in your body chemistry or by psychological wounding from the past. But for many people, their anxiety is rooted in both factors. They may bring chemical imbalances on themselves through poor lifestyle choices such as lack of sleep, imperfect diet, or too much caffeine. And such people might also have experienced psychological dramas throughout their lives but never addressed them properly.
Most people can address their excessive anxiety by making better decisions about their mental and physical health. If they focus on living healthier lifestyles and taking actions to improve their improper behavior, then they will likely experience impressive results.