What Anxiety Feels Like: A Detailed Guide

Anxiety is defined as the feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. While it is very hard to say what anxiety feels like, feeling anxious would cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat.

You will likely feel anxious when faced with a complex problem at work, before taking a test, or before making a significant decision.

This article shows what anxiety feels like and will help you cope with stress. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

About the feeling of anxiety

We’ve all experienced trouble in school, work, family, life, finances, health, and relationships. Things that make you feel stressed and worried can profoundly impact your health and well-being. Different people describe differently what anxiety feels like.

Medical professionals describe anxiety disorder as a common mental disorder. Many individuals have trouble identifying feelings of anxiety as the symptoms of the anxiety disorder can vary from individual to individual. It affects everyone in different ways.

Some people think you’re overreacting to your thoughts. Some severe cases of anxiety can easily lead to self-medicating1, numbing, or just wishing to disappear. It is not possible to overcome this feeling with just sheer willpower.

No one wants discomfort and chronic anxiety2 and ignoring your feelings might make you feel good for some time, but it will cause havoc in the long run. You will increase the danger of complications based upon compulsive behaviors.

What are anxiety disorders?

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Anxiety disorders are conditions during which anxiety symptoms don’t depart and can exacerbate over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities like job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.

There are two types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized folie (GAD): People with GAD 3worry about everyday issues like health, money, work, and family, but their worries tend to be excessive.
  •  Phobias: People with phobias are generally seen to have an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Their fear is also about spiders, flying, visiting crowded places, or being in social situations (social anxiety).

What causes anxiety disorders?

The explanation for anxiety is unknown. Factors like genetics, intricacies of the brain, stress, and other environmental conditions play an essential role.

Health professionals also believe changes should not be taken lightly because they can cause profound psychological impacts.

Who is in danger of anxiety disorders?

The risk factors for the numerous types of anxiety disorders can vary. GAD and phobias are more common in women, but social anxiety affects men and girls equally.

There are some general risk factors, including:

  • Certain personality traits are shyness, withdrawal after you’re in new situations or meeting new people
  • Traumatic events in infancy or adulthood
  • Family history of hysteria
  • Other mental disorders
  • Physical health conditions, like thyroid problems or arrhythmia


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The different kinds of anxiety disorders can have different symptoms. However, it can be identified as anxious thoughts or beliefs that are hard to manage and create feelings of restlessness and tension and interfere with your existence. The symptoms will intensify over time.

Physical symptoms like pounding or rapid heartbeat, unexplained aches and pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, and changes in behavior can also be observed.

People can suffer mild or severe symptoms. This is when the symptoms fluctuate. Typically specific triggers lead to the development of recurrent symptoms4.

Someone suffering from PTS 5may feel unsure about themselves during their first days of treatment after experiencing spontaneous flashbacks. However, there is no definitive measure for the intensity. It means trigger evolution occurs.

How are anxiety disorders diagnosed?

To diagnose anxiety disorders6, your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms. You’ll even have a physical exam and lab tests to ensure that a particular condition doesn’t explain your symptoms.

You will get a psychological evaluation if you do not have other ailments.

What are the treatments for anxiety disorders?

The main treatments for anxiety disorders could be:

  • Psychotherapy 7(talk therapy or interaction session), proper medicines, or both.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a spread of psychotherapy often used to treat anxiety disorders. CBT 8teaches you other ways of thinking and behaving. It can facilitate your change in how you react to the items that cause you fear and anxiety. It would include a desensitization procedure. This focuses on confronting your fears so you can do the items you had been avoiding. Remember, the more you will get open towards your state, the more ease you will get from the state.
  • Some medicines work better for specific forms of anxiety disorders. However, consult a professional before taking medications.

Are anxiety and depression the same?

Both anxiety and depression have similar traits. However, both should not be confused with each other. Sometimes, you might find it difficult to be angry or upset. You could suffer hunger and sleep issues. In the end, you may find yourself in a bad mood. Depressions largely originate from disappointments and apathy. Anxiety, in other words, is rooted in worries.

But with both conditions, you will likely continue to experience problems such as being controlling, exuding perfectionism or having low self-esteem. You’ll find that concentrating and maintaining good relationships can be difficult.

Some find it hard to sleep and wake early, and the constant fear makes the bodily symptoms hard to ignore. No one can shut the brain down; even the body feels tired. Some people do not feel hungry. Things like going home and buying groceries can get tricky.

Consulting a professional is essential. The professional will help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Does it have a physical effect on the body?

The symptoms of anxiety can affect your health and well-being and can affect your daily routine. For example, headaches and concentration problems can hinder your performance at work. Both mind and body are affected severely and can lead to panic attacks. The person can feel drowsily exhausted.

Are stress and anxiety the same?

We use the terms anxiety and stress interchangeably in our everyday lives, but they are a bit different. Stress is pervasive, and everyone deals with it every day. Although stress can be unpleasant, the effects can be temporary.

It is accompanied by physiological changes beneficial for overcoming obstacles or meeting goals, such as enhanced concentration and response time and more pronounced.

How can friends and family support you?

Sometimes, you may feel unfortunate because anxiety may affect your interactions. It may be challenging to engage in different activities. Anxiety can also reduce your confidence and make you feel shameful. This fear becomes quickly toxic and consuming. Your worry creates negative internal thoughts. Anxiety can shape your thoughts, actions, emotions, and feelings.

Friendship and family support involves seeking one another out. We are uniquely placed to recognize when friends have difficulty and take action to help them. Tell them what anxiety feels like. When you worry about your friends’ emotions, trust their gut feelings.

Learning how to identify problems, start conversations, and provide support is essential. If you’re in a tense situation, for example, you can turn to your loved ones.

They will help you calm down and give you a coping environment. Respecting one’s pace of dealing with any situation is vital, especially once you see any member coping with anxiety.

Do not expect to master anxiety overnight. It will take time to grasp a few things that family and friends can grasp. Do not rush to the conclusion. Let them believe that you are there for them in need.

Bottom Line

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Knowing how you feel about your anxiety is a good way for someone to support their loved one. Remember, everyone feels different. What anxiety feels like is a state or situation, not a disease. Never assume that you’re familiar with someone’s situation. Always be transparent and ask a question even if you have no understanding.

If you feel anxious, you may need help with overcoming it. Anxiety is only resolved by addressing the cause that causes the anxiety. In some cases, people can control circumstances, which can create anxiety. Maybe the anxiety from excessive debt could be reduced if one takes action.

Sometimes, however, people struggling with anxiety can find ways to overcome this problem. The doctor has numerous options for treating or diagnosing anxiety9. But one should realize that anxiety is not a disease. It can be resolved. Remember, anxiety is temporary; it can be dealt with professionally.

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  2. Clarke, David M., and Kay C. Currie. “Depression, anxiety and their relationship with chronic diseases: a review of the epidemiology, risk and treatment evidence.” Medical Journal of Australia 190 (2009): S54-S60. ↩︎
  3. Behar, Evelyn, et al. “Current theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Conceptual review and treatment implications.” Journal of anxiety disorders 23.8 (2009): 1011-1023. ↩︎
  4. Denny-Brown, D. “The treatment of recurrent cerebrovascular symptoms and the question of “vasospasm”.” Medical Clinics of North America 35.5 (1951): 1457-1474. ↩︎
  5. Kotrba, Pavel, Masayuki Inui, and Hideaki Yukawa. “Bacterial phosphotransferase system (PTS) in carbohydrate uptake and control of carbon metabolism.” Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 92.6 (2001): 502-517. ↩︎
  6. Bandelow, Borwin, and Sophie Michaelis. “Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century.” Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 17.3 (2015): 327-335. ↩︎
  7. Eysenck, Hans J. “The effects of psychotherapy: An evaluation.” The Experimental Study of Freudian Theories (Psychology Revivals). Routledge, 2013. 365-384. ↩︎
  8. Cohen, Judith A., et al. “Trauma-focused CBT for youth with complex trauma.” Child abuse & neglect 36.6 (2012): 528-541. ↩︎
  9. van Rijswijk, Eric, et al. “Barriers in recognising, diagnosing and managing depressive and anxiety disorders as experienced by Family Physicians; a focus group study.” BMC Family Practice 10 (2009): 1-7. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology


Sathi Chakraborty, MSc Biology
  1. Anxiety is the worst feeling someone ever experience in their life , as a anxiety pron person who is habitual to Experience anxiety in her everyday life I can assure you that your article will surely help many.

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