Let’s take a look at what anxiety is, what it feels like, and how it might affect you.

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling. Most people feel anxious sometimes.

It is the consequence of worrying.


We worry when faced with uncertainty, ambiguity, change, or novelty (when something is new, and we have no frame of reference for it). So, it’s natural to worry about things like starting a new job, getting married, moving house, an upcoming dental appointment etc. In fact there’s no end things we could worry about, especially if they could have a big impact on your life.

It’s only natural to worry. Worry has a key role in our innate survival operating system (SOS). It’s essentially our risk identification process. This risk identification is happening all the time both consciously and subconsciously. Our SOS is constantly on guard for possible future threats to our physical and/or emotional wellbeing.

Anxiety being an uncomfortable feeling, alerts us to the risk and motivates us to take action to use our resources to mitigate the risk.

Sometimes we find it difficult to control our worries

So, we worry about events that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future (risks). Once the event has happened, or the risk has gone away, we should stop worrying about it, relax and move on. However, sometimes we find it difficult to control our worries. This can lead to constant feelings of anxiety. The anxiety then affects our thinking and behaviour. We can start to engage in safety behaviours and avoidance behaviours, that adversely affect our daily life, work, and relationships.

If your anxiety is impacting on your day-to-day life, it may be time to seek help.

What does anxiety feel like?

A feeling comprises physical sensations and one or more emotions.

Some of the physical sensations of anxiety include:

  • feeling tense or on edge
  • stomach churning or aching
  • racing heart, palpitations, or irregular heartbeat
  • faster breathing or shortness of breath
  • pins and needles
  • feeling restless or unable to sit still
  • excessive sweating and hot flushes
  • nausea
  • headaches, muscle aches, and tension
  • tiredness alongside insomnia
  • light-headedness or dizziness

Some of the emotions of anxiety include:

  • fear ranging from apprehension to terror
  • irritability to full blown anger

How does anxiety affect our thinking?

  • reduced ability to focus and concentrate
  • worrying about feeling anxious or having another panic attack. This worry about feeling anxious can establish a vicious cycle of worry-anxiety-worry.

How does anxiety affect our behaviour?

  • panic attacks
  • avoidance of people, things, situations. If we believe that a future situation will not go well, we are likely to have an urge to avoid the situation.
  • safety behaviours. Safety behaviours are used to try and prevent a risk from eventuating and to help us feel more comfortable in situations we are worried about.  If you are uncertain whether something you are doing is a safety behaviour or not, ask yourself: “How anxious would I feel if I could not do this?” If you would feel anxious without the behaviour, it is probably a safety behaviour. Safety behaviours may seem helpful because they reduce anxiety in the short-term. Unfortunately, they keep anxiety going in the longer term.

When does anxiety become a problem?

If you experience one or more of the following on a regular basis, you may have higher than normal levels of anxiety:

As with any concerns about your mental health and wellbeing, it’s important to talk through your concerns with family and friends and seek out professional help and support if you need it. It’s also important to do what you can to help yourself manage your anxiety.

Would you like some help gaining control over your worry and anxiety?

If you want help getting your anxiety under control, simply click the button below to secure a free, no obligation 30 min Zoom or phone consult with me, where we can explore how I can help you liberate yourself from unnecessary worry and anxiety. Alternatively give me a call today on 021 056 8389 or email tony@tycoaching.nz.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with Tony and explore how the HYPNOSIS4ANXIETY program could help you

I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like my help, or you know someone who would benefit, call/text me today on 021 056 8389 or email tony@tycoaching.nz