American anxiety is at an all time high. According to Health on TODAY, anxiety disorders in the United States have jumped 1,200 percent over the past three decades. In most instances, people are experiencing extreme levels of stress despite the fact that no real threats are looming on the horizon. Taking a breath and attempting to relax is quickly becoming a lost art.
Although some are able to manage their anxiety in order to function on a daily basis, some individuals are so worried about one thing or another that it completely derails their lives.
“It can really lead an individual not to leave their home,” explained Dr. Moira Rynn, an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. “It can lead individuals to lose their jobs. Anxiety becomes a problem when it’s keeping you from doing your everyday activities or functions.”
Dr. Nancy Snyderman believes that, while anxiety disorders were underdiagnosed in the past, stress-related problems are presently being overdiagnosed. After all, a certain amount of stress at home and in the work place is to be expected.
“Stress is a natural motivator for people in the work force,” Snyderman told TODAY. “Stress is what helps us avoid trouble. But anxiety is what happens when it interferes with your normal workday. You’re afraid to leave the house. You have such rampant thoughts that you can’t get a project done. You’re lying in bed and you’re already worried about what’s going to happen the next day.”
If you’re one of the millions of individuals who suffer from unwarranted anxiety, there are ways to treat your problem. For some, therapy is to the key to success, while others rely on medication to help manage their stress levels. However, sometimes all it takes to correct the problem is a simple lifestyle change.
One way Snyderman believes Americans can decrease their anxiety is to simply get away from their gadgets at the end of the day.
“I would say to anybody: one hour before you go to bed at night, the TV goes off, the blackberry gets put away, you’re off the computer an that’s when you start reading,” she explained. “That’s when you tuck yourself in. Stressors and anxiety many times can be undone and taken out of one’s life.”