Anxiety can be defined as that feeling of unease as the body reacts to unfamiliar and stressful situations such as worry or fear. That uneasiness can be mild or severe. To read more about anxiety read my blog Anxiety :11 Ultimate Tips to Help Students Flourish.
We will all experience these feelings of anxiety at some point due to the pressures of this world. One may worry about an exam, interview, before a trip to see a Dr for test results, or before meeting someone (on a date). The feelings we experience can be normal. To some however, these worries can be difficult to control, and they may end up affecting their daily life. This is when it is advisable to find some support to manage these feelings.
After supporting hundreds of people experiencing anxiety, there is no one way to describe the feelings and symptoms. You may be experiencing anxiety and not know what it is. Please see below.
This is exactly how people have described how it feels in their own words and what works for them.
- When anxious, I feel the anxiety in my chest – it just feels so heavy and I feel like I can’t breathe.
- I mostly get it in my tummy.
- When am about to get a panic attack, I get stomach pains and icky feelings in my chest.
- Oh, I get shaky hands and feel like the air is literally getting thinner and I can’t get in a real breath, it’s the worst feeling.
- Lowkey, I feel like I’m going crazy. The only way I feel I can stop it is if I completely shut down.
- Well, I feel too paralyzed by everything and therefore I do nothing. Anxiety just makes me feel lazy and useless.
- My anxiety motivates me to do things because I’m terrified of failing to the point that if I do fail, even a little, I feel like I’m bad at being a human and don’t deserve to live.
- Anxiety makes me feel like an unreliable witness to my own life.
- It literally makes me feel sick
- When I think about going to work, I get this deep anxiety that makes me nauseous and feels like I will literally fall to pieces and die when I go in.
- For me I don’t feel like doing anything. Life sucks, everything sucks…Seeing things just makes me more depressed and more anxious.
- I feel stuck but I feel like my whole body is shaking. It makes me so mad.
- The feeling for me is that am about to have have a heart attack, its unpleasant it’s scary.
- It makes me sad when anxiety overcomes me leading me to start overthinking.
- The worst feeling for me is waking up feeling a shift. It throws me off so bad making me feel awful.
- My anxiety makes me feel like I’m going to die from it, but I actually cannot.
- My symptoms are so bad, and I become temper mental.
- I so easily get overwhelmed. The anxiety creeps inside of me making it hard to breathe. I Feel like I’m somebody else.
- My mind is always trying to figure out an impossible solution, and not having the words to express it.
- Being out in public for me feels like everyone is looking at my body and judging me and critiquing. It makes me feel so disgusting.
- It makes me not want to go out for weeks and just stay safely in my room.
- I just wish I could be accepted and be myself, but I feel like everyone’s against me no matter what.
- Anxiety makes me feel drunk without drinking any alcohol.
- Most times I feel like I’m walking on a shaky rope bridge, and I’m always stuck in the moment where you fall between the steps, but you are in a harness, and you feel so scared but never fully fall and never get pulled up.
- Sometimes I think falling would be better than this.
- There’s a weight I feel on my chest everyday all the time, I have to throw up constantly without actually throwing up… It feels like my stomach drops when I’m on an elevator or something, I’m so tired of this anxious feeling and shit.
- Mine makes me feel people hate me or dislike me and I am better off alone rather being in a group pretending to smile.
- My anxiety sends me into overdrive and a spiral at work that makes me feel fight or flighty
Self-Help – this is what helped them
I try to share these feelings. The more I share the less weight I feel.
Breathing exercises help me to bring back my breathing to normality.
I focus my attention on a precise image while observing the details (inside or outside the window for example).
Colouring a drawing helps me.
Writing my thoughts out onto paper makes me feel like I can breathe again after having so many emotions and built-up anxiety! I feel so much better after journaling!
I wear oversized sunglasses and they bring me a type of comfort and safety that I can barely explain. They help with social anxiety, so I don’t have make eye contact with people. Glasses make me feel hidden like I’m in my own world.
what keeps me going is getting out of my own head and observing others around me. If I notice that others are going about their day free of stress then I certainly can too. knowing others are calm helps me
Listening to classical music (lyrics are too distracting) and it’s calming.
Meditation helps with my negative thinking, stress and anxiety to concentrate and focus.
Sometimes I light an incense, or even write. Playing a game sometimes makes me happy.
Praying and singing or playing an instrument helps me.
I try cooking a new recipe – it helps to bring me to the now and present.
15 Unusual Ways to Boost Your Mental Health
More top tips on how to cope with Anxiety:
Mental Health Support services
What’s your tip, please share with us in the comments below, it may help others
15 thoughts on “Anxiety – How it Really Feels and Top Tips: Lived Experiences!”
Depending on how your anxiety affects you, I’d suggest creating an exposure plan so you can help reduce your anxiety for good. I used this to help with my anxiety induced psychosis. The most effective thing I’ve ever done
Yeah that’s a Great tip, thanks very much for taking the time out to read and comment
I can relate all too well to everything you described here! This is actually how I found EFT Tapping and it’s the only thing that really helped calm me down when I couldn’t meditate, yoga, or anything because nothing worked. Thanks for this super informative post!
Thanks, Andrea, for taking the time to read and comment. That’s why I wanted to get that EFT training so I can understand it as an intervention and use it to support others.
It was really valuable to read how other people have described their anxiety; as someone who experiences this too, it was helpful to see others share their struggles.
Thanks very much Molly for taking the time to read and comment and for sharing that, very appreciated
I don’t like the feeling of anxiety at all and make me lose thinking. I’m not sure it came to the point where I can’t breathe but I can imagine it would happen. Usually, I don’t make it last longer doing things like you said breathing exercises and other things.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Yes, the plan is to disrupt that feeling/thought, most anxiety attacks usually reach their peak in about ten minutes, course, during an attack, time feels slower, and ten minutes may feel like an hour.
Thank you for sharing! It’s always good to read others’ experiences and feel a little less alone
Thanks for taking the time out to read and comment
I have experienced a full on panic attack a few years ago and for me it was the tachycardia and pounding heart that brought me to my family Dr and then on her advice to the E.R. Talking about it definitely helped but getting it checked out was something I needed to do – the reassurance was what I needed and giving the control from what was happening to someone else. Great post!
That sounds like a frightening experience and I agree to be reassured I would want to be examined and tell me know that medically I am fine, i think that would go along way to reassure me. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment and sharing that expreince.
This is a very nice post. A lot of the things I relate too. Though sometimes it feels like some of these points one associates with stress than anxiety. Though all terms fall under the umbrella. It can eb difficult to tell which is which. The help tips are certainly good. I usually don’t find focus when that happens but writing, exercising, drawing etc do help. Xx
Isa A. Blogger
Thanks very much Isa for taking the time to read and comment and sharing your experience, very appreciated
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