How to Cope with...

three anxious emojis

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an internal reaction (feelings of fear, dread and uneasiness) to stress. Anxiety is a natural, necessary emotion that can be helpful when serious threats exist. However, it can also be hurtful, painful and exhausting. Anxiety may occur in relation to a real or perceived threat.

What Causes Anxiety?

Family history, stressful events, trauma, health problems, substance use and personality are some factors that can contribute to anxiety. Life experiences such as traumatic events can also trigger anxiety.


Symptoms of anxiety may include feelings of nervousness, avoidance, restlessness, sense of panic, and difficulty concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry. Additional symptoms may include sleep disturbances, tense muscles, rapid heartbeat/breathing, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2018).

Possible Outcomes

Anxiety may impact physical and mental health (Medline Plus, 2020). Long-term, anxiety may cause memory problems, frequent migraines, heart problems, lowered immune system and gastrointestinal disorders.


Since the onset of COVID-19, over 30% of the adult population in the US have reported symptoms of anxiety; which is roughly 20% higher than prior to COVID-19 (Kaiser Foundation, 2022).

Effective Coping Strategies

Although, this is not an exhaustive list, effective stress management and relaxation techniques for anxiety may include meditation, breathing techniques, physically activity, limited alcohol/caffeine use, absence of smoking and recreational drug use, proper sleep/nutrition, and healthy relationships (Anxiety & Depression Association of America, 2022).

box breathing techniques
10 minute meditation

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The suggested techniques provided on this website are not exhaustive, but rather a small sample of helpful tools. Always remember that when in doubt reach out to a mental health professional . For additional supports and resources visit the NAMI Southwest Ohio or NAMI Northern Kentucky website.
If immediate assistance is needed, call 988 (Suicide and Crisis Lifeline).
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Developed resources in this website are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (Nih) under cooperative agreement number: UG4LM013724 and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Institute of Health Innovation (IHI).