What is anxiety?

Recognising the signs and symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response to stressful situations, our worries or uncertainty. The butterflies in your stomach you may feel are part of your body’s response to stress hormones releasing ‘fight or flight’ signals that helped our ancient ancestors respond to danger.

Anxious feelings usually dissipate when people confront, deal with or talk about the problem or situation that’s triggered their anxiety.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

You may feel you need help with your anxiety if the symptoms don’t go away. You may feel worried all the time, have difficulty eating or sleeping, or feel a tightness in your chest.

People with anxiety may also suffer dizziness, numbness, or panic attacks – an intense feeling of loss of control, or even the frightening feeling that you are going to die.

Anxiety may lead to depression, if the symptoms continue over a long period and leave you feeling low.

Help and support with anxiety

If you are struggling with anxiety, seek advice from your GP. They may prescribe medication to treat your anxiety, or suggest a talking treatment such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to help you address and better manage the thinking processes that can trigger or make your anxiety worse.

Peer support from other people who’ve experienced anxiety may also be a reassuring and helpful way of feeling more in control of what you are going through.

If you’re struggling with anxiety or feel alone, you can turn to us. You don’t need a diagnosis, referral or appointment to access mental wellbeing support and friendship at Make a Difference.

Moodgym for anxiety at Make a Difference

If you're struggling with depression, you may find Moodgym a helpful support. It's an interactive programme created to help improve your emotional wellbeing. Make a Difference can help you to access it for free.