Anxiety-Schmanxiety . Part one: Understanding Anxiety

July 27,2017 By: Mansi poddar

Your peppy playlist may urge you to toss your worries out of the window, but is it really that easy? Some of us get worked up about things a bit more than others normally do, and at seemingly insignificant matters. It’s normal to feel tensed when facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, or a blind date. But if your worries and fears seem overwhelming and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from anxiety.


What is anxiety?

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger, an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation.

Feelings of anxiety are often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, and concentration problems. People experiencing anxiety may be prone to avoiding situations that have provoked anxiety in the past.

download (1)In moderation, anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, anxiety can help you stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. Anxiety has an important role to play in helping us get around safely in the world and it can be a beneficial ‘early warning system’ in a range of experiences. But when anxiety is constant or overwhelming, when it interferes with your relationships and activities, it stops being functional—that’s when it crosses the line from normal, productive anxiety into the realm of a probable anxiety disorder.


If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, you might be suffering from anxiety and might be at risk for an anxiety disorder.:

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  • Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
  • Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
  • Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake?
  • Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
  • Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
  • Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
  • Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?

Signs and symptoms of anxiety


Anxiety exists on a scale from mild to debilitating. It can be an annoyance that slightly interferes in our life to a cage that traps us and shuts us out of our own quality life.



Emotional symptoms of anxiety.

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In addition to the primary symptoms of irrational and excessive fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms of anxiety include:


  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Watching for signs of danger
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blank


Physical symptoms of anxiety

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Anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physical symptoms. Because of the numerous physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia


de7bbd95a10d99a2b83363473e78d558--severe-anxiety-anxiety-help Anxiety is insidious, creeping and crawling through your brain, your mind, and your body. It gives rise to self doubt, fear, what-ifs,  worrying about worst-case scenarios and a pressing need for control. Listening to our anxious thoughts nonstop can make them grow ever bigger and stronger, and we come to believe them. It’s almost like a broken record playing inside our heads. When this happens, it’s time to change our tune, lest we want to keep listening to the terrible screeching song play on.


If you may be experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, do yourself a favour and do not sweep your problems under the rug.

For someone struggling with anxiety, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard a well-meaning family member or friend tell you, “Just get over it.” As a society, we are often told that anxiety is not a big deal and that our symptoms can be controlled with an on-off switch.If it were that easy, no one would have anxiety because we’d all get over it and move on.

Consult a mental health professional to understand what you may be experiencing and how to manage it.