Experiencing Everyday Anxiety
Anxiety is something we all encounter, to varying degrees, at one point or another. It is a natural and normal response to feeling overwhelmed by all that life is throwing your way.
It can feel like a state of fear, worry, or uneasiness and its symptoms affect us on every level - physiological, psychological, and behavioral. Anxiety tends to come up for people when they do not feel they are capable of handling whatever it is that they are facing.
People differ in how vulnerable they feel in different situations: this can be influenced by past experiences, as well as by the beliefs and attitudes they hold about these situations.
The experience of anxiety can range from mild uneasiness and worry to severe panic. At a reasonable level, short bursts of anxiety can motivate us and enhance our performance, but if anxiety becomes too severe or chronic, it can become debilitating.
It's important to keep in mind that anxiety is entirely normal. Everyone feels anxious when they are in a stressful situation where they feel vulnerable, so being anxious does not mean that you are ‘weak’ or ‘abnormal’.
Signs that anxiety is present in your life:
Anxiety typically involves an emotional component (e.g. fear, nervousness), a physiological component (e.g. fast breathing, trembling, dry mouth, heart racing, stomach churning) and a cognitive component (frightening or negative thoughts, e.g. I’m going to fail/make a fool of myself/lose control).
These can then affect our behavior, for example by putting off or stopping work, avoiding people or situations, not sleeping, drinking too much, or taking substances to ease our anxiety.