What is anxiety?
You can feel anxious about many different things in life. For example, it can be that something bad has happened or that you are worried about what will happen.
Anxiety and stress are often linked and involve the body gathering a lot of energy because it feels something that is perceived as a danger. For example, you may feel depressed, nauseous, anxious or like you have a lump in your stomach or pressure across your chest.
That's because our internal alarm system has been set off. In the past, this system helped us, especially in times that required physical effort in response to a threatening situation. But the same alarm system still goes off today, whether it's life and death or something completely harmless. Strange, isn't it?
What happens in the body during anxiety?
Anxiety can be very unpleasant, but it is not dangerous. Practicing breathing exercises can be a good tool to relieve anxiety.
When you perceive a situation as threatening, a special part of the body's nervous system is alerted at lightning speed. This nervous system is a part of the body that controls breathing, blood pressure and pulse, things we don't directly influence with our will. When we experience anxiety, various stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are also released into the body. Their job is to make sure that your heart rate and blood pressure are raised and that there is enough energy for your muscles and brain.
Having anxiety sometimes is human. But if you have anxiety often and find that it causes you pain and limits your life, there is help available.
Sometimes anxiety can come up when you are reminded of a situation that has been very difficult, or if you are trying to suppress emotions for a long period of time. It's also common to experience anxiety more often if you've been through something traumatic.
Try to talk to someone you trust about how you feel. Severe and frequent anxiety is nothing to live with! There are many adults who work to support and help young people who are feeling unwell, for example in youth services.
You can always chat with us at Tjejjouren West. You are not alone!