What is anxiety?

We all experience anxiety, when we feel stressed, overwhelmed or threatened by the context of our lives. Feeling anxious is a normal part of our existence, but sometimes this feeling becomes so intense that it becomes difficult to live our lives in the way we would wish.

The experience of anxiety can range from mild uneasiness and worry to severe panic. At a reasonable level, anxiety can motivate us and enhance our performance, but if it becomes too severe or chronic, it can become debilitating.

Anxiety may be caused by changes in our life circumstances; particularly difficult or emotional events and challenges, and an inability to cope with what life brings. Typical circumstances that can trigger anxiety include:  

Sometimes there may be special situations which cause the anxiety to become so intense that we begin to panic. Typical of these is the thought of being examined or judged in some way. More specific forms of panic include fear of flying, of enclosed spaces or of being out in the open.

We run mindful yoga for stress and mindfulness practice groups to help you learn some relaxation techniques. 

Panic attacks

A panic attack is a severe experience of anxiety. People may experience intense dread, various physical symptoms or have thoughts of losing control. It is also possible to fear panic attacks themselves because the experience can be so unpleasant.

Experiencing anxiety and panic

Anxiety can be experienced as a range of feelings from uneasiness to severe panic. It is usually experienced in three ways:

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