Anxiety can be defined as ‘Having regular or uncontrollable worries about many different things in your life, particularly about things that are about to happen or which you think may happen in the future’.
This is different to stress, which is ‘The state that you experience when you perceive that you cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on you. You feel under pressure and don't have the physical and mental reserves to cope’.
The emotion of anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome and it is a perfectly natural reaction.
It is quite normal to feel anxious at times, for example, when you are doing something that you have never done before (for example, a presentation to the management team), when you are taking a big personal step (for example, starting a new job) or when you are dealing with challenging events and changes (for example, moving to a new location).
You will know that your anxiety is a normal emotion if you stop feeling anxious once the situation or event is over.
Normal anxiety can also be very helpful as it has the power to focus attention and motivate you to take action.
Anxiety, however, becomes a problem, if it starts to impact your ability to live your life as you would like to. This may include one or more of the following:
* You are having very strong feelings of anxiety.
* You are feeling anxious for most of the time.
* Your anxiety is out of proportion to the situation or potential threat.
* You are avoiding things, people and situations that you think will cause you to feel anxious.
* You feel that you cannot control your anxiety.
* You are unable to remember not feeling anxious.
* Your anxiety is negatively impacting your day to day life and work.
* You are feeling overwhelmed by your anxiety.
If your anxiety has become a problem for you, you need to address it. You will need to understand more about anxiety (including what it is, its symptoms and causes), acknowledge that you are actually feeling anxious, explore your anxiety to understand what is causing it, take action to reduce and manage your anxiety and build anxiety management strategies into your life and work so that you are in a much better position to manage your anxiety going forward.
How to find out more
If you want to understand more about how to address your anxiety and learn lots of strategies for reducing and managing your anxiety, why not try our online course - Anxiety management for life: how to reduce & manage anxiety on Learn Formula or CPD Formula.