Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the feeling of being afraid or unsafe; it is the emotion that can lead to the “fight, flight or freeze” response, and is believed to have helped humans survive as a species by keeping us alive. We can feel anxious about almost anything in our lives: our work, our education, our social relationships (family/friends/peers), or our performance on any task. Anxiety can  It is related to responses in our body, the way we think, and the way we behave.

What does anxiety look like?

When we feel anxious or scared, our body gets ready to deal with the perceived threat by either fighting it off (fight), running away (flight), or avoiding being noticed (freeze). This can be felt in our bodies in many ways, and might include an increase in our heart rate or breathing, a tight feeling in our stomach or chest, feeling nauseous or sick, shaking hands or legs or muscle tension in our bodies.

Anxiety can make us think in certain ways; it can make us want to avoid a situation, so we find excuses not to do a particular thing that makes us anxious; it can make us attuned to danger, so that we become more likely to notice things that prove that we’re unsafe or being threatened and less likely to notice the things that show that we’re safe; at extreme levels of fear, it can make our minds freeze up or shut down (dissociation) so we’re no longer present, or make our minds feel foggy or separated from reality (derealisation). It can also paralyse our decision-making process, so we have a sense of being stuck.

Anxiety can make us act in certain unhelpful ways; it can make us become aggressive, as a way to defend ourselves form the threat that we perceive; it can make us avoid the thing we fear and do things that are less threatening; it can make us do nothing, when we have that sense of being stuck so can’t make a decision.

Do I need to deal with my anxiety, and what can be done about it?

Anxiety is a natural part of human experience. Almost everybody feels anxious sometimes. Anxiety becomes a problem when it makes it difficult to do the things that we need or want to do, or when it leads us to acting in ways that are unhelpful to us or those around us. If anxiety is causing difficulties for you at work, school or in any important part of your life, effective, evidence-based treatment is available. Treatment can involve understanding your anxiety, challenging or accepting it (as appropriate), changing the way you think about, and learning that you’re able to cope with your anxiety.

Is Anxiety causing difficulties for you? Schedule an appointment now to start taking control of your anxiety