How is Anxiety Treating You?

Anxiety Overview

Feeling worried or nervous is a normal part of everyday life. Everyone frets or feels anxious from time to time. Mild to moderate anxiety can help you focus your attention, energy, and motivation. If anxiety is severe, you may have feelings of helplessness, confusion, and extreme worry that are out of proportion with the actual seriousness or likelihood of the feared event. Overwhelming anxiety that interferes with daily life is not normal. This type of anxiety may be a symptom of another problem, such as depression .

Anxiety can cause physical and emotional symptoms. A specific situation or fear can cause some or all of these symptoms for a short time. When the situation passes, the symptoms usually go away.

Physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Trembling, twitching, or shaking.
  • Feeling of fullness in the throat or chest.
  • Breathlessness or rapid heartbeat.
  • Light-headedness or dizziness .
  • Sweating or cold, clammy hands.
  • Feeling jumpy.
  • Muscle tension, aches, or soreness (myalgias).
  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Sleep problems, such as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, early waking, or restlessness (not feeling rested when you wake up).

Anxiety affects the part of the brain that helps control how you communicate. This makes it harder to express yourself creatively or function effectively in relationships. Emotional symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge or keyed up.
  • Worrying too much.
  • Fearing that something bad is going to happen; feeling doomed.
  • Inability to concentrate; feeling like your mind goes blank

The only part of the flight-fight response useful today is the mental alertness stress provides. Stress helps you perform any skilled activity. To do anything well you need to be alert, anxious to do well or psyched up. Stress in moderation is a drive that can work well to make you more efficient.

People who experience difficulties with stress tend to avoid this healthy stress and hence limit their ability to do their best.

The relationship between stress and skill is shown below.

As you can see the trick is to maintain our stress levels within the optimal performance range. Learning to key into your own personal stress reactions you too will be able to manage your stress so it works for you rather than against you.

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