Anxiety refers to nervousness, worry, arousal of the nervous system, apprehension. It is a fearful state characterised by mental preoccupation’s agitation, angst, edginess, tension, etc., – people often speak of ‘what ifs’ – what if this or that happens, what if I hurt someone? If you suffer from it, you can feel stress and suspense; sometimes it feels like as if your finger was plugged into the electric socket.
Corresponding physical sensations like hot and cold flashes, racing heart or palpitations, tingling sensations, tightness in the chest, and difficulty breathing can occur. When anxiety stirs up to panic, people have been worried if they have a heart attack.
There is a range of intensity of anxiety, but at its worst, it is a highly distressing mental and physical state. And it is extremely challenging to get on with things, to concentrate, to focus and to think about anything else.
There are many practices that try to manage anxiety. If you are suffering from anxiety, you can try techniques or exercises which help you relax and feel better. There are mindfulness and meditation practices, and breathing exercises, that all can help. Similarly, there are anxiolytics – anti-anxiety medications that lower arousal and help to feel better.
These approaches have their limitations, though, as they do not gain an understanding of why someone gets anxious in the first place, which causes anxiety.
As psychotherapy addresses the underlying reasons for anxiety, it can be effective in relieving your symptoms, and also, help you to prevent anxiety from reoccurring.