Signs and symptoms

When you feel anxious you might notice

  • your heart beats faster
  • your throat goes dry
  • your stomach starts to churn
  • you feel sick or dizzy
  • you feel hot and sweaty
  • you feel like you need to wee or poo
  • you feel strange like you’re not really there
  • you can’t think straight

 

These sensations are all part of a normal, natural response which developed millions of years ago, to help us react to sudden life-threatening dangers. Early humans often needed to either run for their lives, or be ready to fight, when faced with a dangerous animal or a hostile tribe. When we feel anxious it’s actually the body going through some temporary changes to help us react more quickly and create more energy for running.

Although we no longer face the same kind of dangers, this response – known as ‘Flight or fight’ – can still save lives sometimes. It can help us move quickly out of the way of a speeding car, for example. The trouble is everyday worries and fears, which are usually not life-threatening, can trigger the same response so that our bodies respond to protect us as if we were in real danger.

MindMate help and advice

Top tips, resources and advice from MindMate

Blogs

Read some young people’s blogs related to anxiety and stress

Olivia's story

A story about coping with anxiety, panic and making yourself proud.

Play Olivia's story

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Useful resources

Some links you might find useful which get the thumbs up from MindMate