Could our efforts to avoid anxiety only be making it worse? – The Washington Post

Could our efforts to avoid anxiety only be making it worse? – The Washington Post

So often it is our daily habits that have gotten a little off the wellness track. This article is a good read and gives plenty of small steps to a better sense of health.

We live in the age of anxiety. As a psychologist who has studied anxiety and treated hundreds of anxious patients, I see it eclipsing all other problems as a major psychological issue in the 21st century. Each day, I treat people who worry constantly and can’t relax, who feel tense and achy, and who have difficulty sleeping — all hallmarks of anxiety. Survey data confirm anxiety is ubiquitous.

 

Nearly one-third of American adults say they feel more anxious than a year ago, according to a May poll from the American Psychiatric Association. The number of Google searches including “anxiety” has increased steadily over the past five years, according to Google Trends. And 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? I see plausible explanations in the way we’ve evolved and, paradoxically, in the way we try to manage anxiety. These explanations can point us toward several powerful techniques that can reverse the trend of rising anxiety.

Read full article: Could our efforts to avoid anxiety only be making it worse? – The Washington Post