Anxiety can be defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something unknown or in the future and can range from mild to severe. It is normal to occasionally feel tense, nervous, worried, restless, or apprehensive. These feelings can even prove helpful in some situations. For example, low to moderate levels of anxiety may motivate you to start writing a paper or help you perform well on a test. However, anxious feelings can start interfering in your life when they are persistent and feel uncontrollable or overwhelming. People often experience physical symptoms of anxiety such as: muscle tension, sweating, nausea, feeling as though you can't breathe or swallow, jumpiness, gastrointestinal problems, feeling "on edge", sleep issues, and fatigue. People may also describe feeling as though their mind is racing or going in circles or they may find themselves unable to stop thinking about one particular thing.
Click here to watch videos of college students talking about their own experiences with anxiety disorders.
Everyone is unique in what they find anxiety provoking. Common anxiety triggers include public speaking, exams, making new friends, transitioning to a new place or a new stage of life and planning for the future. There are different types of anxiety disorders including Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Specific Phobias. This page will give you more in-depth information about the differences between these disorders: Understanding Anxiety Disorders.
You should seek professional help if you experience any of these symptoms regularly, for a period of more than a few months, if they're accompanied by panic attacks, or if they are interfering with the everyday functions and activities in your life. You can make an appointment at theCounseling Center by stopping by their office on the first floor of Jonsson Tower or by calling 518-580-5555.
There are also relaxation techniques you can do on your own to help with stress and anxiety. Check out the following links to learn about diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation: