If you’re looking to find out about what anxiety feels like, you’re in the right place. Millions of people around the world suffer from Anxiety, including over 8 million in the UK. Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion, but when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it can become a medical disorder. In this blog we talk about the different types of anxiety, how it feels living with anxiety and what can be done to combat the symptoms.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural human emotion that is often described as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It is a normal response to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. However, if you regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical condition. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United Kingdom. They are characterised by excessive, long-term worry and fear about everyday situations. Symptoms include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbances.
What Anxiety Feels Like
If you think that you (or somebody you know) may be experiencing anxiety symptoms it is import to understand what anxiety feels like. If you experience anxiety, it can manifest itself in various ways, both physically and emotionally. Some of the physical symptoms of anxiety include an increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and muscle tension. The emotional symptoms of anxiety are just as varied and include fear, worry, negative thoughts, irritability, restlessness, and avoiding certain situations.
Common Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are many types of anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Specific Phobia. Each type of disorder has its own set of symptoms, but all share the common thread of excessive, unrealistic worry and fear. Understanding the specific type of anxiety disorder you may have is important for seeking the right treatment.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
To explain what anxiety feels like we have to talk about one of the most common forms of anxiety; Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). People with GAD experience excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday events and activities. They may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. GAD can cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, muscle tension, and headaches.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as social phobia, is an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. People with social anxiety disorder are extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations and are afraid of being judged or scrutinised by others.
Panic disorder is characterised by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. These feelings of panic can be so severe that they cause the person to avoid certain situations or places.
Specific Phobia is an excessive and unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights, enclosed spaces, or animals. The fear may cause the person to avoid the object or situation and can interfere with daily activities.
7 Things That Cause Anxiety
Now you know what anxiety feels like, let’s look at factors that can cause it. Anxiety can be caused by a combination of biological, environmental, and psychological factors, including:
- Genetics: Anxiety can run in families and may be influenced by inherited genes.
- Brain chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters, the chemicals in the brain that regulate mood, can contribute to anxiety.
- Life events: Traumatic experiences, such as abuse, loss, or major life changes, can trigger anxiety.
- Chronic medical conditions: Chronic illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, or thyroid problems, can increase the risk of anxiety.
- Substance abuse: Substance abuse, including alcohol and drugs, can cause or worsen anxiety.
- Personality: Certain personality traits, such as high levels of introversion or neuroticism, can increase the risk of anxiety.
- Environmental factors: Chronic stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition can contribute to the development of anxiety.
Can You Treat Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are treatable, and there are various forms of therapy, medications, and self-help techniques that can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Some of the most effective treatments include cognitive-behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, and medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
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Our Top 5 Natural Ways to Help Relieve Anxiety
- Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood. A number of research studies have pointed to the effectiveness of short-term aerobic exercise to reduce anxiety sensitivity (Broman-Fulks and Storey, 2008; Smits et al., 2008; Ströhle et al., 2009).
- Mindfulness and meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help calm the mind and body, reducing symptoms of anxiety.
- Herbs: Some herbs, such as valerian root, and passionflower, have been used for centuries to reduce anxiety symptoms. Check out our natural Anxiety Support Supplement here.
- Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation: These techniques can help relax the body and reduce physical symptoms of anxiety.
- Healthy diet and lifestyle: Consuming a balanced diet and reducing caffeine and sugar intake can help regulate mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
In conclusion, to fully understand what anxiety feels like, it is crucial that we understand the physical and emotional sensations of Anxiety. Talking to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can be helpful in addressing anxiety. Self-help techniques, such as deep breathing, exercise, and mindfulness, can also be beneficial. Making positive lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep habits and reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, can also help manage anxiety. It’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a support group as well. With the right treatment, you can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and improve the quality of your life.