Anxiety is a very common emotional reaction to stress. When we become anxious, our mind and body are preparing us to deal with something which has been identified as dangerous or a threat.
Whilst everyone will experience stress at some stage in their life, not everyone will become anxious or develop an anxiety problem; however statistics1 suggest that anxiety is widely and commonly experienced.
“ There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. ” Shakespeare (Hamlet).
How Anxiety Works
Anxiety affects us in 3 ways: it affects what we feel, what we think and what we then do.
Anxiety Cycle Diagram
Levels of Stress & Anxiety
A bit of stress can be helpful at times, as it can motivate us to perform well and it can alert us to signs of real danger. An actor, for example, will usually have a bit of anxiety before a performance and consider that a good thing.
Too much anxiety, however, can be debilitating. Some people get anxious in social situations; some get anxious about specific things, like flying or public speaking, and some find their anxiety is more general and seems to attach itself to all sorts of situations. At the more extreme end of anxiety, some people suffer panic attacks or develop obsessive behaviours.
You can check your levels of anxiety and depression quickly by using the K10 test . Please remember, however, that if you are worried about your results, you do need to follow up with a doctor or counsellor to fully assess your symptoms and discuss treatment.
Take a look at some of our top tips relating to anxiety.
The following links provide more information. There certainly is a lot out there though, so if you find a link or resource you find helpful - please share it via our blog - we would love to let other students know.
- 1Beyond Blue and the Australia Bureau of Statistics
- Get Self Help
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life, 1997, BasicBooks, New York
- Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte, The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life's Hurdles, 2003, Three rivers Press.