Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or imminent disaster, and is a normal emotional response to danger. What makes one person anxious may not trigger the same response in someone else. Events like breaking up, exams or a fight with a friend may cause you to feel anxious, worried or scared. Everyone feels some anxiety at different times during life. It becomes a problem if you feel so anxious that it interferes with your normal day-to-day activities. If this occurs, it’s important that you seek help. A local doctor or a mental health professional is a good place to start if you’re looking for help.
What are the symptoms of anxiety? Anxiety can affect both your physical health and your mental health (behavior and feelings). The symptoms you experience can depend on a number of factors. These might pass quickly or can stay for a long period of time.
What can I do if I am feeling anxious?
Changing your lifestyle. There are many things that you can do to decrease anxiety in your life. Look at the things that are causing you stress and, if possible, change your lifestyle to avoid or confront those things.
Eating and exercise. When people feel anxious, they often neglect themselves. Ensuring that you’re eating healthy foods and regular meals, as well as getting frequent exercise will improve your overall health and well being.
Anxiety disorder. If you are feeling so anxious that it’s impacting your day-to-day life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Check out the Anxiety disorders: types, causes and symptoms fact sheet for more information on the different anxiety disorders and how they can be treated. Research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective in helping people overcome anxiety disorders. People like your local doctor or a mental health professional can help you, or refer you to someone who specializes in treating anxiety disorders. Medication may also be helpful in managing symptoms and is something that a doctor or psychiatrist may advise as part of treatment.
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Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.