The word anxiety is used to describe feelings of worry and fear. When we are worried or nervous about something, we experience both physical and emotional feelings. Examples of these could be:

Physical symptoms

  • butterflies in the stomach
  • dry mouth
  • racing heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • frequently needing the toilet

Psychological symptoms

  • feeling tense or agitated
  • experiencing a feeling of overwhelming dread
  • irritability
  • fear of losing control

When we feel nervous, anxious or frightened our natural response is to avoid the situation or thing that makes us feel this way. However, the more we avoid these things the more we reinforce our anxieties over them. This can leave us feeling less confident and able to deal with our problems.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be frightening and happen suddenly, often for no clear reason. It is a rush of intense psychological and physical symptoms and you may feel an overwhelming sense of fear or even detached from the world around you.

Symptoms of a panic attack can include:

  • feeling cold, shivery, sweaty and hot flushes
  • trembling
  • shortness of breath
  • a choking sensation
  • feeling like you might be dying or having an heart attack
  • feeling sick
  • ringing in your ears

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