Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Understanding Anxiety and knowing what works and doesn’t work for you is the key to living a happier and healthier life with Anxiety.

You’ve probably heard someone you know talk about feeling nervous or anxious before a big event like a job interview, exam or important social function. It’s normal to feel this way and the Anxiety usually disappears at some time during or after the event.

However, some people don’t lose this sense of foreboding.  It stubbornly sticks around like a bad smell.  These people are like you and I and we suffer with Anxiety as a condition.  Anxiety can be triggered by ordinary events like picking a child up from day-care or meeting friends for dinner.  It comes in many different forms and severity levels and spending time to try and learn about your Anxiety can allow you to manage your emotions and feeling quickly so you can move on with your day as normal.

People with mild Anxiety live perfectly normal lives and only feel overly anxious before big events.  While others with more severe Anxiety suffer constantly.  It can stop you leaving the house, going on a picnic or even catching up with friends for a coffee.  It’s quite debilitating and even stops you talking about it with friends and family.

I have suffered severe Anxiety.

There are many different Anxiety symptoms which include loss of appetite, dizziness, sickness, lack of sleep or fatigue, racing thoughts, shortness of breath and hypervigilance.  Not everyone has the same symptoms and Anxiety’s severity is different for each individual.

Anxiety is a normal human reaction and comes from the “Flight / Fight / Freeze” survival instinct we all developed during cave-person days.  This instinct increases the levels of adrenaline in our bloodstream and tells us if we should fight, run or freeze when in mortal danger.  Quite useful when you’re faced with a sabre-toothed tiger, but not so helpful when you are trying to meet friends for a coffee.

Severe Anxiety means that adrenaline is in the bloodstream almost constantly; even when there is no threat.  Chronic Anxiety interferes with normal life and puts the mind and body under constant strain including a pounding heart, breathing problems, headaches, increased blood pressure and muscular aches and pains.

It’s important for suffers to get support from others.  It’s often the last thing you want to do when experiencing severe Anxiety, but it can only be managed when you get help from medical practitioners, friends and family.

Sleep is super important when you’re anxious because it’s during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep that we process the stressors from our day.  Good breathing is also essential; especially as most people with Anxiety breathe too quickly and shallowly.  This means there is not enough oxygen in your blood.  When you breathe normally you have the right mix of oxygen/carbon dioxide in the blood and this means our body can relax and we automatically feel calmer.

Understanding Anxiety takes time.  For some of us it happens quickly while for others, it takes years.  Ten years into my recovery and I understand my anxiety and know exactly what works and doesn’t work for me and my lifestyle.

I hope this post has helped you to start understanding Anxiety.