What is Anxiety?
Anxiety could be described as a feeling of apprehension and uncertainty in relation to something that might happen in the future. It is experienced by everyone at some point. For example, when you take a test, go for a job interview or when speaking in public and it doesn't matter how well prepared you might be. It can happen when driving a car at night in a thunderstorm on an unfamiliar road. This is a normal reaction to something that is unfamiliar or which might have an outcome that you won't like or don't expect and can be helpful because it puts you on a state of alert. It tunes up the muscles and brain to be prepared to handle the unexpected.
It is not helpful if it makes you so anxious that you are unable to perform when taking a test or remember the answers or it prevents you from communicating clearly or lose control of the car when driving..
In other words it can stimulate your performance or be so stressful that you avoid the situation. The level of intensity can vary from 'butterflies' in the stomach which might give the professional sports person and 'edge' to perform at their best, to a full blown panic attack resulting in avoidance strategy.
Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety is generally caued by concerns which are external to you, whereas a phobia could be viewed as an irrational and extreme response to a less obvious, ill-defined, distant or unrecognised source of danger. Anxiety describes an unpleasant state of mental tension and usually results in physical and/or psychological symptoms. You can feel mentally helpless and exhausted by always being on a high state of alert against the anticipated or perceived danger.