Feeling anxious is a normal and natural occurrence for each and everyone of us.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a sign something needs our attention. It can be protective, letting us know there maybe danger or something is risky.
It can also be a positive thing. Feeling anxious about something like an exam or a driving test can be a motivator to study and practice. But sometimes, feelings of anxiety can become overwhelming and interfere with our daily lives.
Anxiety is a something we all feel. It is an experience that we have and not a part of who we are. New or challenging situations, like meeting new people and speaking in public can cause us to feel anxious.
Physical feelings of anxiety
Feelings of anxiety often come with sensations in your body. They can be:
- Feeling hot
- Heart beating faster
- Becoming aware of heart beating or feeling it ringing in your ears
- Breathing changing; becoming more shallow and faster
- Tight feeling in the chest, or discomfort in the chest area
- Feeling sweaty or flushed
- Sick feeling in your stomach, such as butterflies
- Churning or nausea or feeling an urgency to use the toilet
- Headaches and tension.
People often describe sensing something is ‘off’ or feeling uneasy, or are worried that something bad might happen. These are just some examples. Everyone is different and can experience anxiety in different ways.
While these body sensations are uncomfortable they are not dangerous and can be managed.
Sometimes we can become very focused on the physical sensations of anxiety, but this can add to the problem. We can worry about the body sensations which then makes us feel more anxious.