Most people experience stress and anxiety from time to time. People can feel stressed when a number of demands are placed on them. Anxiety can be a reaction to stress, but can also happen even when you are not able to pinpoint any particular life stressors. Fear is an appropriate mental and emotional response to a threat. For example, feeling fear when faced with a lion in the jungle. Similarly, stress and anxiety are not always bad: they can help you manage or overcome a challenging situation. For example, feeling a bit anxious can be helpful when faced with an exam (being too relaxed isn’t as helpful when you wish to perform your best). Just the right amount of anxiety is best for meeting challenges in your life (e.g. that pesky exam). But, when the amount of stress or anxiety you experience interferes with your daily life, this is a problem. At these times, seeking assistance can be a good idea.
What do stress and anxiety feel like? People experience stress and anxiety differently. Some people have physical symptoms such as headache, rapid breathing, stomach ache, fast heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, and/or poor sleep. There are also emotional symptoms that are common with anxiety, such as nervousness or panic, difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness. Worry is common with anxiety. Worry is the negative thoughts that can interfere with your sleep, or interfere with focusing your mind on your job. Some drugs, such as stimulants, diet medication or even coffee, can increase the symptoms of anxiety.
When anxiety interferes with everyday life, obtaining support or professional input can be helpful. Anxiety (and worry) are treatable. A Clinical Psychologist has many resources and strategies that can assist in managing and reducing anxiety and worry.