Why do I have anxiety? How can I cope with it?

Anxiety can affect every aspect of a person’s life. It affects how people think and how they feel, and it also has physical symptoms.

Anxiety resembles fear, but when a person experiences fear, they know what they are afraid of – whereas anxiety is often less specific.

Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, but severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating. Some people are more vulnerable to anxiety than others, but even those who become anxious easily can learn to manage it well.

Negative self-talk, where people always tell themselves that the worst will happen, can cause anxiety; as can stress. In fact, there are a wide range of causes and coping mechanisms; here we will explore some of the most common ones.

Fast facts on having anxiety:

Feeling anxious is normal, but it should not interfere with everyday life.

Excessive, persistent anxiety is an issue for many people.

There are a range of coping mechanisms and strategies to alleviate anxiety.

Sometimes, anxiety may be diagnosed as a particular anxiety disorder.


anxious woman

Anxiety is a normal human feeling. It is no less normal than joy, surprise, pity, or reflection. There are a great many reasons why people feel anxious. Common reasons for feeling anxious include:

social pressure

work related stress

financial difficulties

medical worries

drug use

underlying medical conditions, such as heart attack

It’s normal to feel some level of anxiety, dependent on circumstances. The trick to managing it is to recognize it early on, and adopt coping strategies to successfully navigate it.

woman anxious in public

People may naturally avoid situations that make them anxious. This might help them feel better in the short term.

The trouble is that the anxiety keeps returning, and can spread to other situations.

Some people start avoiding everyday activities including:

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