Examples of symptoms:
Churning feeling in your stomach
Feeling light headed or dizzy
Pins and needles
Feeling restless or unable to sit still
Headaches, backache or other aches and pains
Thumping or irregular heartbeat
Sweating or hot flushes
Grinding of teeth
Need the toilet more often
Changes in sex drive
How anxiety can affect your mind:
Feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
Sense of dread/fearing the worst
Feel like the world is speeding up or slowing down
Feel like others are looking at you
Unable to stop worrying, feeling that bad things will happen if you do stop
Worry about anxiety itself, worry that you may have a panic attack for example
Needing lots of reassurance from others, or worrying that people are upset with you
Feeling that you are losing touch with reality
Thinking a lot about bad experiences, over thinking situations again and again
Feeling disconnected from your body or mind (like you watching someone else
Feeling disconnected form the world around you
Worry about what might happen in the future
There are lots of tools and techniques that can help you to relieve anxiety. Here are some examples of what you can try:
Take deep breaths. Deep breathing is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique because it activates the body’s relaxation response.
Accept that you are anxious. Remember that anxiety is just a feeling, the same as all other feelings, an emotional reaction. By accepting your anxiety doesn’t mean your giving into it, just accepting it is an emotion.
Question your thoughts. When you get anxious your brain starts to come up with all sorts of ideas, many unrealistic and they go on to heighten your anxious state. Question your thoughts, is it realistic? Is it likely to happen? Is it really as bad as you think it is? Is it really true or does it just seem like that?
Use positive talk. At times anxiety can feel overwhelming, but positive statements can help to reduce the feelings. For instance you may say to yourself ‘this anxiety feels bad, but I have strategies to manage it.’
Focus on the now. People tend to be anxious about what might happen in the future. Concentrate on what is happening now, breath and start to try manage your feelings.
Anxiety can be debilitating. Symptoms can last for a long and come and go over a long time. It can affect your everyday life including keeping a job or studies, maintaining relationships, can stop you trying new things or enjoying your leisure time.
If you’re not sure if stress or anxiety is the cause of your feelings, or if you’ve taken steps to control your stress/anxiety but your symptoms continue, always see a doctor who will help you to check for other potential causes.
www.studentminds.org.uk / www.nhs.uk / www.childline.org.uk / www.dummies.com/health/mental-health / ww.mind.org.uk