All about feeling anxious

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


Signs this might be a problem…

  • You often feel worried or like something bad is going to happen.
  • You take a long time to get stuff done because it has to be perfect.
  • You always think things will end badly or feel like you can never do things.
  • You’re irritable and constantly in a bad mood.
girl walking through countryside

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of worry or fear 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, such as worried or scared.

Everyone feels some anxiety 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, or causes a lot of distress, 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 and the symptoms might be short lived, or stay for a long time. It can cause you to:

  • become 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, care too much about things being ‘just right’ 
  • be argumentative, especially when you’re trying to avoid something that worries you
  • become irritable or constantly in a bad mood.

Common ways anxiety might affect your body:

  • Having dry mouth or difficulty swallowing.
  • Experiencing nightmares.
  • Having difficulty getting to and staying asleep.
  • Having difficulty concentrating.
  • Experiencing muscle aches and pains (especially neck, shoulders, back).
  • Feeling restless,  or trembling and shaking.
  • Having a rapid heart and breathing rate.
  • Experiencing sweating, dizziness, headache.
  • Feeling sick – nauseous, vomiting, or having 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 becoming a problem. 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 and what to do about it. Check out some info on the treatment available for anxiety, and who can help you get the treatment you need.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 21 May, 2014
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