Anxiety can be a feeling of unease, worry or fear. It is something that everyone can experience at some point in their lives, but for some it can be a recurring problem.
Anxiety is actually an automatic response. It was once necessary for us to use this inbuilt response when faced with a threat; it would determine what would be necessary for us to protect ourselves when encountering something or someone dangerous. This concept is more commonly known as the “fight-or-flight” response, which involves a series of changes in our bodies that prepare us to take immediate action or to direct us to run when faced with a threat or crisis.
The origin of this response of course dates back to a time when humans lived a lot closer to nature and natural predators, a time when daily life was filled with very real threats.
Today, our bodies still respond in the same way our ancestors did thousands of years ago, although it is rare that we actually have to physically defend ourselves in the same way that they did. As this is the case the fight-or-flight response is somewhat redundant, and instead we are faced with a build up of tension that can result in anxiety manifesting itself and becoming greater.
A little bit of anxiety can be fine for an individual; for example, if you feel anxious before taking an exam it could actually make you feel more alert and improve your performance overall. However anxiety becomes a bigger issue when the individual experiences too much anxiety, which could start to affect your daily life.