Anxiety happens when the body perceives a threat and gets ready to fight it or run away (‘fight or flight’ response). The symptoms of anxiety can include difficulty breathing, chest pains, feeling faint, increased heart rate, numbness, headaches, the need to pass urine or empty bowels, nausea, poor concentration, unhelpful thinking, loss of self confidence and avoiding doing things.
Anxiety can be a problem if this safety mechanism is being triggered when there is no real threat and these symptoms start to affect the things we do everyday or are happening too often or for too long.
The most common type of anxiety is known as generalised anxiety. Other types of anxiety include panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).