What is anxiety?

Anxiety is the state of apprehension and fear experienced when anticipating a real or imagined threat, event or situation.

Though it’s probably hard to believe now, anxiety is a completely natural and built-in human mechanism that protects us.

Think back to our ancestors who had daily threats to their survival…

Anxiety fight or flight response

Our ancestors needed something to get them moving quick, whether it was for fight or flight, and a rush of anxiety did just that.

Anxiety has a place in today’s society, as well.

Ever felt a rush of ice flow through your veins because of a reckless driver? Notice how your knuckles became white and uncontrollably
clenched on the wheel?

This type of anxiety is helpful.

The problem begins when we feel anxiety in a situation where there is no real threat or danger.

The heightened anxiety we then experience causes our minds and bodies to respond, often leading into full-blown panic attacks.

If you’re reading this, you likely have an idea of just how terrifying a panic attack can be.

What a panic attack feels like

Trouble breathing, cold sweats, blurred vision, feelings of claustrophobia, nausea, and losing control are only a few symptoms of a panic attack that can manifest itself in just a few spiralling seconds.

Feeling those sensations right out of the blue (especially when experiencing a panic attack for the first time) knocks everything we thought we knew about stress out the window.

Panic attacks leave us questioning our own senses, feeling exhausted, confused, and obsessively anticipating their next strike.

Anxiety is exhausting

Prolonging that state of anticipation can lead to panic disorder or a state of heightened general anxiety (which we’ll cover later).

But here’s some good news: whether anxiety and panic attacks are new to you, or whether you’ve been struggling with them for a while, everyone is capable of overcoming them.

The first step to healing is to develop an understanding, which you’re already working on now.

You can learn all about the physical and mental effects of panic attacks next, by downloading the Rootd app for free.

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