Definition – noun

1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”he felt a surge of anxiety”

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What is anxiety?

Your heart rate increases, you feel on full alert and your body tenses up – does that sound familiar?

Anxiety is how we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid. Triggers for these things can often be when things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future.

It is important to note that anxiety is a very natural human response, when we feel that we are under threat (fight or flight response – further information can be found here: https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-response/).

Anxiety can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

Mind has provided examples of the physical effects of anxiety may feel like:

  • a churning feeling in your stomach
  • feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • pins and needles
  • feeling restless or unable to sit still
  • headaches, backache or other aches and pains
  • faster breathing
  • a fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating or hot flushes
  • Sleeping issues
  • grinding your teeth, especially at night
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • needing the toilet more or less often
  • changes in your sex drive
  • experiencing panic attacks

Most people feel anxious at some point/s in their lives. We are particularly likely to experience some anxiety, if we are dealing with stressful events or large changes in our personal lives. Even more so if these events are likely to have a large impact on your life.

Whirls anxiety is a very natural Hunan reaction, it can become a mental health problem if it impacts your ability to live your life as fully as you would like to. For example, holding down your job, impacting your personal relationships, looking after yourself and trying new things/ new environments.

Other examples of anxiety negatively impacting your life could include :

  • anxious feelings lasting a long time or not going away
  • personal fears and concerns are more exaggerated than they may necessarily be required for various situations
  • you avoid situations/ environments that may trigger anxious feelings
  • you have experienced a panic attack/s

It is important to seek medial advice if your symptoms persist or worsen, as certain medical criteria may lead to a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, where help and support can be provided. It’s also important to flag that individuals can experience problems results from anxiety, yet not receive a specific diagnosis from medical professionals.

You are not alone if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and there is a lot of support available, both online and from medical professionals.

The Mind website contains lots of helpful information and links: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/symptoms/