What does anxiety feel like?
Having anxiety might mean that we feel frightened, panicked, worried and nervous a lot of the time. It can have an effect on the way we think, feel and behave.
We might feel physical symptoms such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Light headed/dizziness
- Feeling breathless
- Tight chest
- Stomach ache
- Feeling sick
- Pounding heart
We might behave in certain ways such as:
- Avoiding situations that we are worried about
- Being restless
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor sleep/waking through the night
- Not eating
- Having bad dreams
- Angry and irritable
- Crying and clingy
- Complaining of feeling unwell
These unpleasant thoughts and feelings can develop into a vicious cycle which acts like an engine, driving the anxiety and keeping it going.
What causes anxiety?
There are many different reasons that we may experience anxiety; it could be due to our life experiences, our family history, experiences of trauma or because of our genes and/or our personality. Sometimes we may find the problems started after an upsetting or frightening experience in our life (like being bullied at school, having an illness, loss of a loved one or parents separating).
We may be able to manage one challenging stressful event, but when lots of things happen at once, like parents separating, moving house and changing school, it can become much more difficult.
What can help?
The good news is that there are lots things that we can do to reduce the feeling of anxiety and make us feel better.
Here are some things you could try:
- Learn a bit more about anxiety and how it works
- Listening to music can help us feel more relaxed. Choose tracks that make you feel happy, relaxed and positive
- Breathing exercises
Getting More Help
Talking to family and friends about your worries can help you feel more supported. You might want to talk to someone outside the family like a GP, teacher or mentor at school, or even a friend’s parent. Choose someone you trust and if you find it difficult to talk about how you are feeling, you could write them a letter or send them a text. Support is also available through Childline, Compass Phoenix, Kooth and Recovery College Online.
Getting Urgent Help
If you’ve seriously injured yourself or taken an overdose call 999 or get immediate medical advice from NHS 111.
If you are in a crisis and feel like you can’t cope, speak to somebody straight away. Search below for help or see the Urgent Help page for contact details for the North Yorkshire single point of access Crisis Service.