Understanding Anxiety Disorder And What Does Anxiety Feel Like

The broad category of anxiety disorders entails a variety of conditions characterized by excessive concern, fear, and avoidance behaviors that significantly impact the lives of individuals.

Anxiety is rooted in our survival instincts, however, anxiety becomes a problem when our fear response is unnecessarily triggered – signaling danger. Here are a couple of common metaphors that characterize this experience.

Anxiety is a panic alarm that won’t shut off. We may feel overwhelming fear, a pounding and racing heart, shakiness, and chest pain or dizziness. Feelings of restlessness, and intention persist sometimes to the point of physical pain and illness.

Anxiety is being stuck in a ‘what-if’ cycle. One’s thoughts are inundated with excessive fear, worry, and catastrophic thinking patterns. These thinking traps carry themes of worst-case scenarios.

A better understanding of anxiety is helpful for both those experiencing anxiety and those who are trying to help.