Mental Health Awareness Week – Day 3 – Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural reaction we feel, when worried, stressed or perceive to be under threat. Anxiety can be triggered by our thoughts, feelings or physical sensations.
Anxiety can be useful, as human beings we need to protect ourselves from real life danger; feeling anxious can make us more alert and react faster during these situations.

Fight, Flight or Freeze

The three responses to anxiety are Fight, Flight or Freeze… Everyone who experiences anxiety will respond in one of these ways. All humans have evolved in a way to protect themselves, our body reacts to danger by releasing hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol; this will help you to
prepare to deal with the situation, such as fighting or running away.

How does Anxiety Feel for you?

For everyone that experiences anxiety throughout their life, each individual will feel differently.

Bodily Effects
  • washing machine stomach

  •  feeling light-headed or dizzy

  • pins and needles

  • feeling restless or unable to sit still

  • headaches, backache or other aches and pains

  • change in breathing

  • increased heartbeat

  • sweating or hot flushes

  • change in sleeping pattern

  • grinding your teeth

  • Feeling sick

  • needing the toilet more or less often

  • changes in your sex drive

  • having panic attacks.

Effects on the Mind!

  • feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax

  • fearing the worst, dramatizing situations

  • feeling like the world is speeding up/slowing down

  • feeling paranoid

  • feelings of worry

  • looking for constant reassurance

  • worrying you’re losing touch of reality

  • overthinking/ rumination

  • Dissociation- such as derealisation or depersonalisation

  • Worries about the future

  • Negative thinking


  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Panic Disorder

  • Phobias

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Health Anxiety

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD

  • Perinatal Anxiety or Perinatal OCD

Ways to deal with Anxiety

  • Talking- to someone you trust

  • Try to manage your worries

  • Treat your physical health

  • Breathing exercises

  • Keep/Record a diary

  • Peer support

  • Complementary and

  • alternative therapies

  • Medication

  • Self- help resources

  • Engage in your hobbies


Anxiety Care UK Helps people to recover from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety UK 03444 775 774 (Monday–Friday 9.30am–5.30pm)
Advice and support for people living with anxiety.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) 01455 88 33 00
See the BACP’s sister website,, to find a therapist near you.
Fearfighter A computer-based CBT (CCBT) programme for treating panic and phobias.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
Use the NHS service search to find psychological therapies services near you.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Samaritans 116 123 (24 hours a day)
No Panic helpline: 08449 67 48 48 (10am–10pm)


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