The constant stream of information bombarding us on social media, news outlets, and phone apps as well as the demands of work, family life, and relationships, in this fast paced world has contributed to the rise in symptoms of anxiety. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has estimated that 31.1% of US adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.

What is Anxiety:

It is important to understand what anxiety is and how it manifests. Anxiety is a natural response to stress or perceived threats. It’s a feeling of fear, worry, or unease, often about an imminent event or uncertain outcome. While it’s normal to experience occasional anxiety, it becomes a problem when it becomes excessive, persistent, and interferes with daily life. For example, worry about an exam or meeting a deadline is normal. However, when you are unable to “think straight” or “block out” during the meeting or exam, anxiety has interrupted your life.

Anxiety can manifest in various physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, such as racing thoughts, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. It can range from mild to severe and can impact individuals differently. When anxiety becomes severe, it becomes Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This is a mental health condition characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, such as work, health, finances, and relationships. Unlike normal anxiety, which may come and go in response to specific stressors, GAD involves persistent and excessive worrying that is difficult to control and often disproportionate to the actual circumstances.

People living with GAD may experience physical symptoms such as muscle tension, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms can significantly impair daily functioning and quality of life.

GAD is typically diagnosed based on the presence of excessive worrying and anxiety that persists for at least six months, along with the presence of several associated symptoms. Treatment for GAD often involves a combination of therapy, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Though our therapists do not prescribed medications for anxiety, we can support your continuity of care needs with a prescribing physician or psychiatrist if needed. When receiving therapy for anxiety at Melanated Womens Health LLC, we will assess baseline levels of anxiety using measurements such as the Beck Anxiety Inventory. That way, we are able to track your progress overtime while in therapy for anxiety. Beyond therapy for anxiety, lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, and support from loved ones can also be beneficial in managing GAD symptoms.

A Few Strategies for Managing Anxiety:

1. Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing techniques can help calm the body’s stress response and promote relaxation. Try practicing deep breathing exercises for a few minutes each day or whenever you feel overwhelmed.

2. Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment. This practice can help reduce anxiety by shifting your focus away from worries about the future or regrets about the past.

3. Regular Exercise: Physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week to reap the benefits.

4. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake: Both caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, so it’s important to consume them in moderation. Consider cutting back on caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, and be mindful of how alcohol affects your mood.

5. Establish a Routine: Establishing a daily routine can provide structure and predictability, which can help reduce anxiety. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, meal times, and work routine to promote a sense of stability.

6. Seek Professional Support: Don’t hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family, or a mental health professional if you’re struggling with anxiety. Talking to someone you trust can provide validation and perspective, and therapy for anxiety can offer valuable coping strategies and support.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily life, you can cultivate a sense of calm and resilience in the face of stressors that can cause anxiety. With time and practice, you can learn to navigate anxiety more effectively and live a fuller, more balanced life of calmness. Contact Melanated Women’s Health LLC at or 215-720-1456 to learn more about how one of our Therapist can help you work on anxiety management to thrive in your daily life.

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2133 Arch Street, Suite 304
Philadelphia, PA 19103