Are We Confusing Anxiety And Feeling Anxious?

April 5, 2018

“Anxious Or Anxiety? That’s The Burning Question,”

It is a known fact that all of us tend to experience anxiety on a periodic basis. Anxiety, on most occasions, is a really normal response to stress. 

Anxiety is something that encourages us to study for exams or complete our jobs/assignments. It can act as a warning signal and prevent us from walking through a dangerous street at night. Also, it is one of the major players in our flight or fight response during dodgy situations. The presence of minor levels of anxiety (feeling anxious) is not only normal, but also good.

“It facilitates the making of healthy decisions and helps us finish activities/jobs we undertake.”

Anxiety can however become a problem when it occurs more than occasionally. It becomes a serious issue when it prevents other thoughts, interferes with daily life, and becomes an energy consuming entity. When anxiety begins affecting an individual’s personal life, job, or general health, it is possible that the person is suffering from an anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety disorders are typically based on irrational or increased fears of something. This fear can be observed in some of the most prevalent forms of anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder which is marked by continuous worrying and fears; panic disorder which causes recurrent and severe panic attacks; agoraphobia refers to fear of going to places from where the anxiety sufferer feels, is no escape; and social anxiety disorder which is marked by inability to converse with strangers or new people or being the center of everyone’s attention.

Below are some of the major differences between feeling anxious and having anxiety:

1. The reason for anxiety

Any kind of anxiety has some underlying cause, such as some ongoing occurrence in someones life, which is triggering anxiousness. The event can be a big test in the near future or the first meeting with the parents of your partner. It is completely normal for people to feel anxious about such situations and such anxiety eventually tends to disappear after the event has occurred.

Generalized anxiety sufferers on the other hand continuously experience anxiety. There are no particular stimuli that trigger the anxiety and associated fears also tend to be irrational. The sufferer may be aware about the irrationality of his/her fears as well as the excessive worrying! However, despite such knowledge of the truth, they are simply unable to elicit an appropriate response to the abnormal mental and physical responses.

2. The associated signs and symptoms

Anxiety disorders are marked by not just increased worrying, but also symptoms of physical ill-health. Anxiety sufferers may experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, tremors, sweating, redness, and shaking, etc. They may feel as if they cannot breathe or even talk. It is very challenging for these people to focus on anything else other than the irrational fears in that moment.

People who are just anxious do not experience such symptoms or don’t entertain them if they arrive. If you’re currently suffering consider a method based around the teaching of cognitive behavioural therapy to get back to living the life you want and deserve.

3. The duration and strength of anxiety

The level of anxiety in anxiety sufferers is not equal to the amount/size of the trigger. For instance, even a casual and quick presentation of around 5 minutes can trigger anxiety and prevent the sufferer from completing it. Also, people with anxiety tend to experience the symptoms for longer durations; the symptoms may begin weeks before a supposed stress-causing event.

Take a good look at yourself, study yourself, and see where you stand when it comes to either feeling anxious (situational) or having generalized anxiety. You may find that the label you’ve placed upon yourself for a long period of time wasn’t true at all, and it may just be certain areas or people that cause it.

Share Your Comments And Experiences Below In The Comment Section!

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10 comments on “Are We Confusing Anxiety And Feeling Anxious?

  1. Lorrie Apr 5, 2018

    I am so happy to read your clarification. It is so clear when you explain anxiety in words.. It is very hard for me to answer a question when someone asks about my experience.
    I’m still trying to figure it out.
    Thank you Dennis! For doing what you do!!

  2. Michelle auvil Apr 5, 2018

    I definitely have a full blown anxiety disorder which has mophed into a monster because of suffering for almost 7 years. Happened one day out of no where.. Ive always had situational anxiety growing up such as public speaking social anxiety first day of school etc. But they all passed. Not sure why 7 years ago I had a panic attack that developer into a full panic disorder that day but that’s the past and it is no longer relevant to me.. Now I focus on the acceptance and recovering…

  3. Shirl Apr 5, 2018

    Whilst I have suffered GAD, Panic and Agoraphobia over the years, Ive not had any of those for 10 years or so. Instead I have suffered with being anxious over having an accident in public due to an awful sudden, painful, overwhelming and terrifying urgency episode in town almost 2 years ago. I didnt have an accident (Which was a total miracle!) but I was badly shaken up and feel the experience impacted on me subconsconsciously. Ive been anxious about my waterworks and being near public loos ever since. I have improved a bit recently but Ive got a way to go yet. I just want all this behind me once and for all.

  4. Barbara Apr 5, 2018

    I definitely have GAD, but I’m working on it, with the amazing help from your videos, Dennis. Thank you so much for providing such great insight and counsel! Anybody out there have heightened anxiety that lasts for a good 24 hours? Not a full blown panic attack, but a cortisol flood that makes you very anxious for hours on end?? It’s a bummer. I am anxiously (no pun intended) waiting for your future videos, Dennis, I am learning a lot from them.

  5. brenda Apr 6, 2018

    this was so good to read. I realised that I have health anxiety, prob along with other things but this one hit the nail on the head for me today. I’m 73 with GAD for as long as I can remember. just don’t know if you can help me as I have used and tried everything underthe sun……I have progressed an aweful lot but the muscle tension on a daily basis is a buggar…cheers Brenda

    • Trapped emotions can certainly be the culprit of physically pain and a good NLP specialist can help with eeleaseing those emotions that no longer serve you.

  6. Small things to big things can bring worries in life and can result in anxiety. Thanks for sharing this post with us. Keep up the good work.