Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety I What Can You Do About It

Anxiety is related to fear. Fear is a natural response to something that is or seems to be a threat to our physical safety. To keep us safe, our bodies and brains are designed to respond to the fear response. Physical signs and symptoms of anxiety include increased heart rate, breathing fast or feeling short of breath, feeling dry in the mouth, sweating, feeling sick in the stomach, feeling like you need to go to the toilet, shaking or trembling or having a headache. For some, anxiety can have mental and emotional signs and symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, can’t stop thinking about things you fear, you start thinking something bad might happen etc.

So what can you do if you think you have anxiety?

You can have the signs and symptoms of anxiety without having an anxiety disorder. However, when anxiety disrupts or interferes with your daily life and you feel fearful most or all of the time, then you need to do something about it.

The good news is anxiety can be managed. You don’t need to struggle with anxiety. There are several ways you can help to manage it. Here are a few things you can do to manage anxiety:

  1. Self-care– this would include things like talking to people who you feel understand you, participating in a hobby or other activities to help ensure a balance between your work and leisure time, writing your thought and feelings in a journal or notebook, being creative and making things, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising, cutting down on your alcohol consumption, getting enough sleep (7-8 hours every night) and paying attention to what’s going on right here, right now.

  2. Online Resources and Programs– you can find many resources and programs for managing anxiety online. Online resources include but are not limited to:
    Lifeline- 24 hour crisis service. Visit their website or ring them on 13114 at any time, day and night.
    Beyond Blue- provides information and online programs for anxiety and other mental health problems. Ring them on 1300 224 636 or visit their website. They are a 24 hour service, 7 days a week.
    SANE– has information and support for managing anxiety. Ring 1800 187 263 or visit their website.
    MindSpot- is a national online and telephone assessment and treatment service for adults with anxiety or depression.

  3. Support From a Health Professional – it can help to talk to a health professional about managing your anxiety. Your GP can help if you need medication to help manage your anxiety. You can also speak to a registered counsellor or psychologist that can help with managing your anxiety. They are trained mental health professionals who can help you to manage your specific signs and symptoms of anxiety.

Remember, there is no one size fits all approach to this. We are all different. The approaches that work best for each of us to manage our anxiety will differ. We may need to try a few different approaches to find one that helps us to manage our anxiety.