What Is Anxiety?

Jun 10, 2022

What is anxiety? We all at some point have experienced anxiety. Anxiety is a way that our body responds to stress by warning us of nearby danger or fear. This anxiety was very helpful back in the caveman days when if we were to be approached by a predator, we would either, run from it, freeze, or fight with the predator. Anxiety is the way our body is helping us survive. However, if you experience prolonged times of stress-causing anxiety, it can develop into a very unhealthy maladaptive response. 

For example, we can experience anxiety on the first day of school, driving to a job interview, going on a blind date, or taking a test. It is quite normal and expected to experience anxiety during any of these situations and can usually motivate you to do well. These feelings can present themselves as being nervous, having an increased heart rate, and having a feeling of uneasiness. 

However, if you experience anxiety more often than normal, then it can interfere with your normal daily activities. The feeling of anxiety can present as follows: 

  • Increase of heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling, jittery
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling nervous
  • Restless or tense
  • Trouble concentrating

These are just a few of the symptoms of anxiety. In part, because if you experience anxiety for a prolonged period of time, it can translate to an anxiety disorder that includes Generalized Anxiety Disorder, social anxiety disorder (not wanting to be around people), and having specific phobias (water phobia, from the dark, driving, etc.) You may feel you want to avoid places or things to reduce your feelings of anxiety. In addition, anxiety can eventually cause heart conditions, gastrointestinal problems (gastritis, IBS, etc.), relationship problems, social problems, and depression. 

The good news is that anxiety is treatable. We have mental health providers that can guide you back to the path of calmness. If you are interested in getting help, click here to schedule an appointment with one of our mental health professionals. 


1. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

2. Mayo Clinic

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– Yajaira Escobedo, LMSW LCDC, TF-CBT, CTP

Mental Health Specialist | Email Yajaira

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