Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, and it can be mild or severe. Anxiety is our natural response to threat. It is also known as ‘fight or flight’, a normal response that allows us to react to danger. The fight or flight response evolved to help protect humankind from danger in our environment. It is designed to help alert us to danger and respond quickly to reduce the risk of harm to us and those we care about. These immediate threats require us to respond quickly to either fight the threat or enable us to escape. When you feel under threat your body releases chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol, which help physically prepare you to either fight the danger or run away. These chemicals are also what cause you to have anxious feelings and feel sick or nervous.
Do I have anxiety?
Some of the symptoms of anxiety include:
Situations that can make you feel anxious include:
How do I cope with anxiety?
Anxiety can be managed easily with the right skills and techniques. For self-management it is important to use breathing and relaxation techniques. These should be incorporated as part of your daily routine. Mindfulness is also a great tool in managing anxiety as it allows you to change your focus. Other helpful ways of managing anxiety and improve your overall wellbeing include eating healthily, exercising regularly, cutting down on stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes, speaking to someone, taking time to do activities you find relaxing, such as listening to music.
Want to talk things through?
If you find yourself anxious and struggling to cope, then support is available. Hidden Wounds is a free and confidential service run by Help for Heroes that offers treatment and support for people wishing to learn how to manage their anger better. You can reach them by calling 0808 2020 144 (free from UK landlines) or by requesting more information from them here.
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