Anxiety is a psychological state in which a person has an uncomfortable feeling of fear and concern. A person suffering from anxiety may also feel worried, on edge and uneasy. Feelings of dread and stress are also common. Anxiety has psychological and physiological effects on the body, and can last anywhere from moments to years.
The physical effects of anxiety are an increase heart rate, sweating, muscle weakness and a headache. Over time, anxiety may lead to fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and heart palpitations. Some people experience stomach aches and nausea when they are anxious.
The mental effects of anxiety include a lack of motivation, lack of focus and depression. A person with chronic anxiety may stop engaging in activities which make him or her feel anxious. He or she may find it hard to sleep or relax. Some people experience panic attacks with anxiety, and others develop obsessive compulsive tendencies.
When anxiety occurs regularly, effects a person's daily life and is hard to stave off, the parson may have anxiety disorder. Formal diagnosis of this disorder is important because it allows doctors to treat the disorder more aggressively with therapy and pharmaceuticals. Therapists generally help patients get their anxiety under control by encouraging them to talk about the things that make them anxious and by giving them new ways to cope with their feelings that can help calm the anxiety. Certain drugs can hep patients deal with their anxiety in the long term by altering the chemical balance in the brain.
Almost everyone experiences some anxiety from time to time. This does not mean that they have anxiety disorder or need treatment. The best ways to calm acute anxiety include taking deep breaths, getting some exercise and meditation. Some people also find that aromatherapy and massage calms their anxiety.