Most people feel anxious or scared sometimes, but if it's affecting your life there are things you can try that may help.
Support is also available if you're finding it hard to cope with anxiety, fear or panic.
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Anxiety can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically, mentally and how you behave.
It's not always easy to recognise when anxiety is the reason you're feeling or acting differently.
If you experience sudden, intense anxiety and fear, it might be the symptoms of a panic attack. Other symptoms may include:
A panic attack usually lasts 5 to 30 minutes. They can be very frightening, but they're not dangerous and should not harm you.
If you're not sure how you feel, try our mood self-assessment.
try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: email@example.com if you need someone to talk to
exercise – activities such as running, walking, swimming and yoga can help you relax
find out how to get to sleep if you're struggling to sleep
eat a healthy diet with regular meals to keep your energy levels stable
consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website
listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides
do not try to do everything at once – set small targets that you can easily achieve
do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better
do not avoid situations that make you anxious – try slowly building up time spent in worrying situations to gradually reduce anxiety
try not to tell yourself that you're alone; most people experience anxiety or fear at some point in their life
try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve anxiety as these can all contribute to poor mental health
The mental health charity Mind offer more information on:
Your Mind Plan on the Every Mind Matters website sends personalised tips and advice to your email inbox.
If you need more support, you can get free psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS.
You can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) without a referral from a GP.
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.
There are many different causes of anxiety, fear or panic and it's different for everyone.
When you're feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
This can be helpful in some situations, but it might also cause physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating. In some people, it might cause a panic attack.
Regular anxiety, fear or panic can also be the main symptom of several health conditions. Do not self-diagnose – speak to a GP if you're worried about how you're feeling.
If you know what's causing anxiety, fear or panic, it might be easier to find ways to manage it.
Some examples of possible causes include:
Even significant life events such as buying a house, having a baby or planning a wedding could lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
You might find it hard to explain to people why you feel this way, but talking to someone could help you find a solution.
Find out more about the 5 steps to mental wellbeing.
|feelings of anxiety that will not go away, anxiety is affecting your life||generalised anxiety disorder|
|overwhelming fear of something specific like an object, place or animal||phobias|
|regularly experiencing panic attacks||panic disorder|
|often reliving traumatic past experiences, nightmares and flashbacks||post-traumatic stress disorder|