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What is Anxiety?

What is anxiety

Anxiety is excessive worry, nervousness or agitation about a subject.  Many times it a result of thinking about something that is going to happen.  Anxiety is also a product of stress. When you are stressed, there is a tendency to worry.  Excessive worry that interferes with a person’s ability to sleep and normal ability to function is considered a problem. When it gets to this level, it is termed a disorder.

There are several types of anxiety disorders:  Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Phobia, Panic disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder.

How does anxiety affect your body?

When you are worrying, your body is undergoing what is termed the "fight-or-flight" response.  Your body is releasing stress hormones that affect you both physically and emotionally. 


Physical Symptoms

Emotional Symptoms

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

What can help with anxiety?

There are many ways in which a person can learn to deal with anxiety.  You can address anxiety with self-help remedies, you can consult your traditional medical doctor, you can consult with an alternative medicine practitioner or you can do a combination of both.

Below are a list of some self-help ways which can help you with anxiety:

  • Meditation - Meditation involves learning to let go of thoughts and learning to relax, which are both essential. When practiced regularly, they can increase your sense of wellbeing and feeling of relaxation.
  • Eat healthy - make sure you are eating healthy and drinking lots of water.  A healthy body is better able to deal with stress. Essential Fatty Acids among other things are something you should consider.
  • Exercise regularly - exercise can help to relieve stress and anxiety. If you are looking for an exercise that combines physical movement with breathing and mind control then try yoga, qigong or tai chi.
  • Get regular amounts of sleep - lack of sleep exacerbates anxiety.  If you need assistance try meditating right before bed.
  • Find a hobby - find something that you really enjoy and do it on a regular basis.  This will both improve your mood and take your mind off of your worries.
  • Go on a retreat - get away and relax.
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