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  • Writer's pictureInterval Health

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world. Yet, it still isn’t talked about nearly enough. Whether it’s a stigma surrounding mental health, a lack of information or education, or something else entirely, many people struggle with the effects of anxiety without really knowing what it is or how to treat it.

While every case of anxiety can be different, and there are many “types” to deal with, there are some common factors that come into play.

Having a better understanding of what anxiety feels like and how it can impact your life is a great first step toward identifying and treating it.

With that in mind, let’s dig a little deeper into what anxiety might feel like for you. The more you educate yourself on those feelings, the easier it will be to take control of the condition.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

Again, everyone experiences anxiety a bit differently. For some, it can be downright debilitating. Others have high-functioning anxiety and are able to live relatively normal lives, even if they’re struggling.

So, while the symptoms can vary in severity, some of the most common include:

  • Feeling restless

  • A racing heart

  • Faster breathing

  • Headaches

  • Sweating

  • Hot flashes

The most concerning sign of anxiety, however, is a constant state of worry. It’s normal to be scared about things sometimes. When you are, your mind goes into “fight or flight” mode. However, people with anxiety tend to be in that mode more often than not, even when there are no real threats.

What Anxiety Feels Like From the Inside

External symptoms are easy to spot. But it’s just as important to understand what you might feel on the inside when you’re dealing with anxiety. An overwhelming sense of fear and worry can cripple you and make it difficult to get through the day.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the only internal symptom. You might also struggle with issues like fearing the worst possible scenario. You might always have a sense of dread about what’s going to happen or worry over things that have happened in the past.

These racing thoughts and fears often make people with anxiety restless and nervous, with an inability to relax. Again, that can impact nearly everything you do in a day and can even lead to other mental health issues, including depression.

What Can You Do?

The good news is that, in most cases, anxiety is very manageable. However, it doesn’t typically go away on its own.

First, it’s important to get an official diagnosis. Working with your doctor or a mental health professional is the best way to get diagnosed so you can begin a treatment plan that meets your needs.

When you work with a therapist, you’ll get to the “root” of your anxiety. While that’s not usually fun, it’s a necessary first step when it comes to overcoming your fear. A therapist will help you acknowledge and understand those feelings and work with you to develop effective ways of coping with your symptoms.

When you have a better understanding of your anxiety, you’ll also be able to lean more on your friends and family because you’ll know what you need. The people in your life want to help. When you know what you’re dealing with, you can better equip them to provide the support you need.

If any of the signs and symptoms here sound familiar, you could be dealing with anxiety without realizing it. Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment soon. Anxiety doesn’t feel good. But it doesn’t have to control your life forever.


Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is also Certified as a Perinatal Mental Health Professional by Postpartum Support International. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Illinois via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.


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