All about feeling anxious

Worried you have anxiety symptoms? Find out what anxiety is, and the key signs that anxiety is affecting someone. Look like you? Get directions on how to do something about it.

Signs this might be a problem…

  • you’re irritable and constantly in a bad mood
  • you often feel worried or like something bad is going to happen
  • you get upset whenever something changes
  • you take a long time to get stuff done because it has to be perfect
sad teen boy sitting on piano stool

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or stress and is a normal human response to a lot of situations. What makes one person anxious doesn’t always cause the same response in others. Things like a fight with someone, breaking up, or concern about exams could make you anxious, worried or scared.

Everyone feels some anxiety symptoms at different times in life. It’s the way our body tries to keep us out of dangerous situations, and motivates us to solve problems. But if you feel so anxious that it gets in the way of you living your life, that’s a problem. If this is happening to you, you can do something about it.

Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety can affect both your physical health and your mental health. It might be short lived, or stay for a long time.

Anxiety can affect you in many different ways, including causing you to:

  • be irritable or constantly in a bad mood
  • be worried or constantly feel something bad is going to happen
  • often ask unnecessary questions or need constant reassurance
  • get upset when a mistake is made, or if there is a change of routine
  • be a perfectionist
  • be argumentative, especially when you’re trying to avoid something that worries you

Common ways anxiety might affect physical health:

  • dry mouth or difficulty swallowing
  • nightmares
  • difficulty getting to and staying asleep
  • difficulty concentrating
  • muscle aches and pains (especially neck, shoulders, back)
  • restlessness, trembling, shaking
  • rapid heart rate and breathing
  • sweating, dizziness, headache
  • feeling sick – nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

If you have some of these anxiety symptoms, you might like to try some self-help tactics to help you manage your anxiety.

What can you do about if you’re feeling anxious

There are a few things you can do to when anxiety is out of control. You might need to change your lifestyle, face a tough problem, or learn some relaxation techniques. Try some self-help tactics for dealing with anxiety.

If you’ve tried these, and it’s not going away, it might be wise to get an expert opinion on what’s going on or what to do about it. Check out the anxiety disorders information to get a crash course in more serious anxiety problems, and who can help you get past it.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 23 February, 2014
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