What Is Anxiety?

What is anxiety? Uneasiness when a sense of dread creeps in. Gets worse when you take pokes at what feels dangerous. Even though it's supremely tough to nail down what the threat really is.

Feeling safe is a basic need. We're wired to protect ourselves when this is threatened. Usually, it's raw fear that clangs alarm bells.

Anxiety also sounds the alarm. Loves the drama. But, fancies something different.

Anxiety likes to pretend there's danger. By playing with your mind. Over and over again.

Anxiousness helps when it's the mover and shaker to get things done. But, what isn't natural is always feeling like you're walking on eggs. For no obvious reason. But, you swear something wrong's going on.

Fact is...

Problems with anxiety are common. Can get in the way of how you feel. Behave. And, torpedo your life.

The uneasiness has 2 hooks. The past. The future. When they dig in, and this easily becomes habit, the new normal becomes feeling anxious all of the time.

The point isn't making the effort to get rid of the malaise. But, to manage the discomfort when it happens. One way is to better understand anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety? Not feeling comfortable...at all

When anxiety isn't a motivator, it can come across as something bad is lurking.

The suspense makes you uncomfortable, antsy. You may not know, exactly, what the tension's about. But, there's an inkling your comfort zone is disappearing.

What is anxiety good at?

Getting you to dig up memories from the past having the same, unpleasant sensations. And, jump into the future, thinking of disasters that make you cringe.

Anything that makes you nervous, unsafe, gets thrown into the fire. And, you can react with the acute in anxiety disorder. Anxiety feels right at home in this environment.

Convinced you're a sitting duck for fiascos, the sense is...you must always protect yourself:

  • Freeze, always wondering what to do next. 
  • Fight back with snappy remarks. Or, 
  • Flee from what makes you uncomfortable.

Instead, these behaviors make anxiety persist. And, anxiety disorder can walk right into your life.

What is anxiety? Intense excitation of your nervous system. An alarm reaction. Physical discomfort is what your body experiences. The sensations aren't dangerous. But, they sure make you believe they are.

Anxiousness feels the same as when you're afraid. As if there was danger. But, there's no obvious menace to react to.

Cues are based on the past. The future, on guesses. But, what, exactly, is the threat? Anxiety banks on you to ignore the question.

Thing is...

Feeling anxious has a snowball effect. It's super easy to obsess over feeling symptoms of anxiety. Become afraid of them when they hit...which makes anxiety worse. You may sweat bullets even thinking about the unnerving sensations.


Both fear and anxiety are warning signals. They're the go-ahead to release the same physical reaction...Numbness, pounding heartbeat, and hypervigilance, to name a few.
Fear, though, shoots up because of a definite, known threat. It's here, close. And, coming fast.

Anxiety slithers in. Lingers. For hours. Sometimes, days, weeks.

What is anxiety? It's 'about' something. The notion something bad is going to happen. But, the angst is a shadow. Evasive. And, confusing.

This can cause uncertainty. And, make you feel you have no control. Check out Julie Beck's article on How Uncertainty Fuels Anxiety to know more.


Handling anxiety is a lot tougher to pull off. What's more, depression help may be needed. Grappling with the uneasiness can be that discouraging.

The Link

Fear and anxiety feed off each other. Fear can cause anxiety, anxiety cause fear. And, the 3-F's are a result. The brain-wired freeze, fight, or flight response to what's sensed as a threat.

What is anxiety? The performer that always wants to dance with the 3-F's. Craves the excitement. So, it pretends there's a menace...somewhere. And, the 3-F's oblige.

The commotion it causes to your body can be very unsettling. And, scary to put up with. What's more, a steady dose of uncomfortable sensations can lead to anxiety disorders, where the alarm bells don't turn off.

It's simple:

To lower anxiety, is to understand and accept the discomfort is designed to protect from a real threat. The sensations you go through aren't dangerous. Just scary.
The other, is to find the real source of uneasiness. To work with it, so anxiousness is managed.

It isn't a sign of weakness to get help when the dread has gone out of hand.. Indeed, it's an act of courage. To get your life back.

The Irritators

It's natural to look for the easy way out when anxiousness claws at you. Pleasure is more fun to feel than pain.

What is anxiety? It's a good thing when it gets you moving when you want to achieve something you care about. But, when gripping uneasiness gets in the way of living the life you crave for, there's a problem.

The environment you're in...home, school, at work, socially, can be an irritator. Another, genetics, where nervousness has a history in your family. As a result, you may behave the only way you know how.

It may the freeze, where you don't what to do next. Feel paralyzed. Avoid, to stay away from what feels uncomfortable. Or, fight, by growling your way through a situation.

Keep in mind...

The behavior is a result of sensing there's a threat...somewhere. Anxiety feeds off the “What if?” to strut its stuff.

The trick is to become less sensitive to anxiety. Not fight the malaise. But, to let it run its course when the pangs arrive. You'll be less anxious about feeling anxious.


What is anxiety? Bottom line, it's an alarm bell going off. Murky signs of danger caught your attention. But, when anxiousness has taken over your life, it's time for a serious look at how you can make peace with it.

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