We can all feel anxious in our day-to-day lives and at different times in our lives. This is due to a response for protection and to aid our survival. This response teaches us to avoid dangerous situations and is a learning mechanism for danger. This process works well in certain situations like following rules such as crossing the road or by being responding to external situations such as being attacked. We use our fight or flight mechanism when these situations happen. We can either run from the source of the danger (flight) or stay and fight the danger. In some people their subconscious will go into overload by creating these mechanisms in situations that are considered quite normal to others. It is this scenario that makes us feel anxious. This will distort our belief system and if these situations occur, could lead to the development of a range of disorders such as phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Anxiety affects our whole body – our behaviour, emotions, and physical health. It’s main objective is to create feelings of fear to make us want to avoid certain situations. However, once we start feeling anxious it can often be make to feel worse by thinking negative thoughts, which increases the feeling of anxiety. This creates a vicious circle in day-to-day life, were people are thinking more negative thoughts and becoming increasingly anxious. This pattern of behaviour could lead to other disorders such as depression.
The following are physical symptoms of anxiety that we might encounter. They also look very similar to our fight or flight mechanism in our body: