What is anxiety?

We all feel anxiety. It’s the emotion we experience when we’re worried about something. But feeling too anxious or anxious all the time is different. An anxiety disorder can make it hard to focus and leave you exhausted. It can even cause physical pain.

If you have anxiety that interferes with your daily life, it might be time to talk to a health care provider to see if what you are experiencing is an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and many people with anxiety also experience depression.

Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can be emotional, physical, or both:

  • Feelings of worry or dread about the future
  • Expecting the worst and always watching for signs of danger
  • Having unwanted thoughts that won’t go away
  • Feeling tense, jumpy, restless or irritable
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle pain, tightness or soreness
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Feeling exhausted even after a full night’s sleep
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach

Managing anxiety disorders can include:

  • Making sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly
  • Deep breathing, meditation and yoga
  • Talking to a therapist or counselor and learning techniques for managing anxiety
  • Medication prescribed by a health care provider to ease symptoms

Not sure where to start? Your health care provider can help.

Read more

Managing Anxiety by Tamar Chansky, Ph.D.

Additional resources