What is Anxiety?
How Anxiety Can Affect You

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a term used to describe uncomfortable feelings of nervousness, worry, and tension. We all experience anxiety at one time or another and it can affect absolutely anybody at any given time. Anxiety affects people in a variety of ways.

First of all, Anxiety causes a number of physiological responses in people such increases heart rate, quicker breathing or feeling sweaty. These responses are appropriate in certain situations where there is danger and we feel are under threat.

Anxiety can also affect us mentally as we begin to have a number of negative thoughts in Anxiety inducing situations. It can also impact on our behaviour in a negative manner and can often prevent us from doing things as we would normally do. A high level of stress in our lives can result in an increase in Anxiety and this can reach the level of panic unless steps are taken to reduce your level of Anxiety.

Anxiety can become a problem when you:

  • Have too much stress and anxiety in your day-to-day life
  • Become more anxious about something than it deserves
  • Become anxious about things that you cannot change, or that haven’t happened yet
  • Become anxious about being anxious (‘fear of fear’)
  • Do unhelpful things to ease your anxiety such as drink too much alcohol or stop going out

How Anxiety Can Affect You

Lets take a look at some common ways Anxiety can affect your behaviour as well as affecting you mentally and physically.

Common ways that Anxiety can affect your Behaviour include:

  • Avoiding people or places
  • Not going out
  • Only going places with someone else
  • Escaping a situation or leaving early
  • Using “Safety Behaviours” in a feared situation to get you through (e.g. self-talk, holding a drink, smoking, having an escape plan)

Common ways that Anxiety can affect your Thoughts include:

  • Thinking you are in immediate danger
  • Thinking the worst possible scenario is going to happen
  • Thinking you won’t be able to cope with something

Common ways that Anxiety can affect you Physically include:

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Faster breathing, feeling breathless, choking feeling
  • Muscles tense up, aching, shaking
  • Feeling hot and sweaty
  • Feeling lightheaded or having blurred vision
  • Having butterflies in your tummy or the urge to go to toilet