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What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Everyone experiences anxiety. It is a normal human emotion. Anxiety is our response to a perceived, identifiable, or not, stress or danger. For instance, we may feel anxious when we have a deadline or upcoming performance. Occasional anxiety like this can resolve simply by the resolution of the deadline or performance. Typically, when anxiety is not alleviated by the resolution of the trigger and there is a feeling of a constant state of anxiety it begins to impact the individual’s day to day life.

When anxiety impacts day to day life the emotional state can feel reactive to the perceived cause or threat, and the worry is excessive to what the individual would anticipate for the identified stressor. It is a generalized state of worry, insecurity, and agitation that can be triggered by almost anything. You may feel anxious and unable to figure out why. It is possible to wake up worried or feel uneasy, nervous, restless, or fearful.

We often cope with chronic feelings of fear by ignoring, denying, avoiding, and concealing these feelings in hopes they will just “go away”. This increases the probability of developing maladaptive behaviors to cope but which can negatively impact functioning and lead to an increase in symptoms of anxiety.

  • There are several different types of anxiety, each with its own symptoms. The most common form is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Someone experiencing GAD feels a constant, excessive worry and tension with or without cause. Symptoms can include irritability, restlessness, being easily startled, a racing heart, shortness of breath, fatigue, sleep difficulty, difficulty concentrating, an inability to stop thinking about the worry, and panic, with or without panic attacks.
  • GAD and the other subtypes of anxiety are common and burdensome mental health conditions that can have a profound and debilitating impact on daily function and well-being. The thoughts and feelings can become toxic and may even exacerbate physical illness. Anxiety can often occur along with depression.

There is help and hope. With a caring therapist and the right treatment, you can learn to make positive changes and live a healthy and productive life. If this sounds like something you or a loved one are struggling with, we at Healthymynds in Redondo Beach, California are here to help. Reach out to schedule a consultation and learn how to manage anxiety.

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