"Anxiety ... A helpful emotion"

by Jomel Bajar, PT,DPT,MS

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Experts states that 30% of humans or so were destined to be seriously impaired with anxiety. There is a chance that someone in your co-worker or circle of friend are experiencing anxiety. Why do so many of us feel this way? Can we do something about it?

Literature states that anxiety evolved as a helpful emotion. Long time ago, our ancestor must always be prepared in his surrounding to survive. It can be helpful to our overall well-being; however, it can also really take a toll on our physical and mental health when left uncontrolled. The trick is learning where the anxiety is coming from. In addition, finding the reasons why it is happening. By doing so, it can help us make intelligent and responsible decisions to take care of it. For example, when you feel anxious about an examination, it likely means that you really want to be successful and make your parents proud of your accomplishments. If you let anxiety help you, it may assist you to make decisions on how to study and plan for the exam and how to prioritize your time to study more. However, if you focus strictly on the anxiety of the examination, then it will take over your whole approach to test taking and you may opt-out and may try to convince yourself that you are not intelligent anyway. Anxiety can drive us but if we focus too much on the anxiety and do not try to understand it or work with it, we can fool us into comfort zones that later we may come to regret or that may ca