What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Anxiety can affect our body, thoughts and feelings in different ways.
But our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are linked, and can create a vicious circle:
|What can happen to our bodies (physical symptoms)||Thoughts and feelings|
|Faster, shallower breathing||Fearing the worst|
|Feeling sick||Feeling tense, nervous and on edge|
|Tightness or pain in the chest||You may feel worried that there is something wrong with your lungs or heart|
|Pins and needles in toes or fingers||Dwelling on negative experiences or thinking over a situation again and again|
|Feeling faint or dizzy||Feeling numb|
|Tense muscles and headaches||Feeling restless|
|Sweating||Feeling unable to concentrate|
|Fast, thumping or irregular heart beat|
|Raised blood pressure|
|Needing the toilet more frequently|
|Churning in the pit of the stomach|
Some people have panic attacks. They can be regular, or occur once and never again. Panic attacks are when your body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement is exaggerated, and you get a rapid build-up of physical responses. You might also panic if a flare-up of your symptoms includes feeling a lot more breathless than usual. Your anxiety will, in turn, make you feel even more breathless.
The physical symptoms of a panic attack are caused by your body going into fight or flight mode. As your body tries to take in more oxygen, your breathing quickens. Your body also responds making your heart beat faster and you tense up.
Are you experiencing anxiety and panic attacks? Our friendly helpline team will be able to give you advice. Call them on 03000 030 555.
So during an attack, you might feel you can’t breathe and:
- your heart pounds
- you feel faint
- you sweat
- you feel sick
- your limbs feel shaky
- you feel you’re not connected to your body
During an attack, people often over-breathe or hyperventilate. This make your breathlessness feel even worse. Learning and using breathing techniques can help.