Anxiety covers a wide range of problems from stress to panic attacks, compulsions, phobias or nervous illness. Anxiety and fear trigger the release of hormones such as adrenalin, which then causes your heart to beat faster. The fear and apprehension of this can cause palpitations and shaking which arouses more adrenalin and increases problems. It is normal to feel worry about life and your problems from time to time. Examples of this can include: public speaking, a driving test, having an injection etc. But when worry affects everyday life you may be suffering from anxiety.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?


Tiredness (often extreme)


Heart pains



Churning stomach


Panic Attacks

Lump in throat


Weight Loss

Obsessive thoughts


Anti-social behaviour

What makes us anxious?

Some of us seem to be born more anxious than others. Research suggests these problems can be inherited through our genes, but even someone who doesn’t naturally worry can, under enough pressure, become uncomfortably anxious.

Circumstances can at times make us anxious, for example, after a bad experience even if you were not physically harmed such as a break in at your home.

Drugs like amphetamines, LSD or ecstasy can make you anxious and even caffeine can cause this.

Life experience such as moving home, changing jobs, unemployment and pregnancy can make some of us extremely anxious. This feeling can particularly arise when we feel out of control of our lives.

How can I manage my anxiety?

If you want to manage your anxiety yourself there are a good many self-help books out there, these will show you relaxation techniques to reduce your anxiety to a more manageable level. It is important to remember how much better you feel when you begin to relax, take control and lead a fuller life. Try taking a few minutes each day to switch off. I’d recommend trying my guided visualisation to calm your mind.

If you can’t control it yourself then make a trip to your GP who may give you antidepressants. It’s important to note that these can take 2 to 4 weeks to work or longer in some cases and they can have side effects. Your GP may also suggest beta blockers to control the physical shaking of anxiety.

If the symptoms are still uncomfortable ask your GP to refer you to a counsellor or local support groups run by people with similar problems.

Complementary therapies also work well with anxiety symptoms. Yoga, meditation, massage etc. These can help you relax and sleep better. Exercise is also a must as this uses up the adrenalin and other hormones that are produced under stress, allowing muscles to relax.

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