What is Anxiety?

What is anxiety

• We use the term “anxiety” to describe a huge array of feelings – nervous, scared, panic, excitement, anticipation, embarrassment, humiliation, jittery, etc.
• Feeling fearful is a survival instinct; it helps to protect us from danger. However, in the case of anxiety, the fear response kicks in although there is no actual danger
• You may feel strongly that something terrible is about to happen. Your mind may race in anticipation of what to expect, how to react, who to respond to, and how to cope with worst case scenarios
• If you experience intense fear over threats that are not real, and your daily functioning is impacted, you may need help to reduce your anxiety symptoms

You may be experiencing anxiety if:

• You feel your heart rate go up out of the blue
• You feel like you are struggling to breathe, your chest feels tight and you can’t seem to get enough air into your lungs
• You feel nauseated or sick in your stomach,
• You feel jitters inside, like butterflies fluttering in your stomach
• You feel tingling in your fingers and/or toes
• You sweat profusely for no clear reason
• Your muscles are constantly tensed, e.g. clenched jaws, fingers gripped in fists, shoulders hunched, tension headaches
• Your brain is constantly worrying about things you are unable to control
• You have trouble sleeping or wake up several times through the night
• You can’t concentrate at school or work because your mind is racing
• You feel easily overwhelmed or panic easily
• You feel attacked and snap easily, especially with loved ones
• You fear that you will make a fool of yourself when in front of others
• You avoid going to crowded or new places
• You avoid meeting with loved ones or friends in case you have an anxiety attack or a meltdown
• You are very self-conscious because you worry that people are judging you

Getting Support

• You may be feeling frustrated or annoyed with yourself if you find you can’t seem to control your reactions
• If your anxiety is causing you to miss school or work, impacting relationship with loved ones, or you’re confining yourself to the safety of your home, then you should consider seeking professional help
• Your Psychologist can equip you with various strategies to cope with anxiety so that you can continue to perform daily tasks without feeling overwhelmed
• If you are feeling a little tentative about seeking help, read about what it is like to see a Psychologist here