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Recognising anxiety

Lots of us have felt anxious in stressful situations: losing a job; being in a difficult relationship; confronting a difficult colleague. That's a normal reaction, and it usually passes.

Having an anxiety problem, however, is when we inflate or perceive a ‘threat' that isn’t there (or has now passed) and the worry is all-consuming.

Physical symptoms of anxiety include

  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • muscle aches and tension
  • trembling or shaking
  • dry mouth
  • excessive sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach ache
  • feeling sick
  • headache
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • restlessness

Mental symptoms of anxiety include

  • feelings of dread
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability

Types of anxiety

  • Generalised anxiety (GA) – this means having lots of worries about lots of things.
  • Social anxiety - having a fear about looking stupid or foolish in a social situation.
  • Panic - a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers reactions including trembling, rapid breathing and sweating
  • Phobias - a phobia is anxiety triggered by a fear of something specific
  • Post-traumatic stress - reliving a distressing event, experiencing the same anxiety as during the original event
  • Obsessive-compulsive anxiety - anxiety triggered by certain incidents, leading to repetitive behaviours to relieve the anxiety
  • Health anxiety - anxiety symptoms related to fears regarding physical illness

What you can do to manage anxiety

Deep breaths

Try to slow your breathing down. Breathe through your nose rather than your mouth with your hand placed on your stomach.

Exercise

Exercising has many benefits. It releases chemicals in the body that are anxiety reducing, acts as a distraction from worries, increases social interaction and improves breathing. These can all have profound effects on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Limit caffeine and alcohol

These substances can increase the severity of symptoms and panic attacks.

Choose a therapist near you

Justice Mill Lane
Aberdeen
AB11 6EQ

Mecklenburgh Place
Goodenough College
London
WC1N 2AY

83, Queens Road
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1QS

Wilcrick Place
Avondale Road
Cwmbran
NP44 1TX

25, Hosier Lane
London
EC1A 9PH

39, Queen Anne Street
London
W1G 9AZ

602 Marlborough Gate
Avebury Boulevard
Milton Keynes
MK9 3XS

240, South Oak Way
Lime Square, Green Park
Reading
RG2 6UL

Junction 1 Retail Park
Leicester Road
Rugby
CV21 1RW

4, Cousin Lane
London
EC4R 3XJ

15, New Mart Road
Edinburgh
EH14 1RL

37 The Broadway
Wimbledon
London
SW19 1QB

27 Essex Road
Islington
London
N1 2SD

King George's Park
Burr Road
Wandsworth
SW18 4SQ

Simpson Way
Surbiton
KT6 4ER

Richmond Road
Kingston upon Thames
KT2 5EN

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

Stirling Road
Guildford
GU2 7RF

Emotional wellbeing therapies
  • Choose from face-to-face, self-guided and expert-guided courses
  • Complete online courses at your own pace
  • Access therapists where and when it suits with our video appointments app

0333 123 4106

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