The Sensations and Experience of Anxiety

The experience of anxiety differs across individuals. It’s a term used to describe a cluster of sensations. These symptoms may include a combination, mix and synthesis of some or all of the following:

  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive worry
  • Inability to stop or control the worrying
  • Trouble relaxing
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Feeling on edge, nervous
  • Easily annoyed, irritable
  • Phobic avoidance
  • Indigestion
  • Hyperventilation
  • Excessive sweating, flushing
  • Frequent urination
  • Sense of doom
  • Stomach cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremor, shaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Depersonalization
  • Diarrhea
  • Sense of suffocation
  • Muscle tension
  • Fainting, dizziness

Anxiety keeps you from enjoying things, people, activities, gatherings, and relationships to their full extent.

It could at times manifest itself in your thinking process, making you believe that you MUST have everything figured out from all vantage points, leaving no stone unturned. It could at other times manifest itself somatically, in your body, making you believe you are in danger, and in an elevated state of arousal that pumps your heart, fogs your thinking, and tenses your muscle. At other times, it’s an emotional sensation that leaves you feeling uneasy, as if something is missing, as if something needs to get done leaving you feeling on edge or restless.

Mapping your anxiety is important, as it allows you to navigate the landscape and develop a response and preventive plan to manage the cluster of symptoms anxiety brings with it.


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