What is that all-consuming dreaded “something” for you? You know—the thing that starts your stomach churning and palms sweating at the first thought of it coming up on your agenda?

For me, the number one dread of all dreads is flying. I absolutely hate it! So, when I know of a trip coming up when I’m forced to fly, rather than travel by ground, my symptoms of anxiety start revving up with:

  • Fearful thoughts that disaster could happen
  • Desire to control exactly where I’m sitting on the plane
  • Nervousness in general
  • Discomfort internally
  • Sweaty palms
  • No desire to discuss the upcoming trip with anyone

And of course, I have a whole separate list of things I do in an effort to calm down prior to my plane even taking off. (I’ll speak to that later when we cover coping methods.) It’s no surprise that this type of apprehension is a big issue for many people!

Anxiety Defined

True anxiety actually goes beyond the “normal” state of being worried. It would be typical to worry about the results of an important final test in school. Distress about arriving home safely when roads are slick with ice would also be considered a usual feeling. But it’s when our concerns go beyond the norm—into thoughts that are debilitating to daily functioning that clearly shows how anxiety has taken over!

According to Anxiety.org, some common symptoms related to anxiety include:

  • Excessive, irrational, or uncontrollable feelings of worry and dread
  • Sensations of panic and uneasiness for no apparent reason
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Ritualistic behavior
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle tension
  • Inability to remain calm
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Rapid breathing, or hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Stomachache

Now that you may have identified yourself as being overly-anxious about some things, be assured that:

1.) You’re not the only person facing this issue.

2.) There are coping methods to help you get beyond these feelings.

In our next segment of Putting Anxiety to Rest: Part 2, we’ll look at ways anxiety can affect productivity in the workplace.