Why Do I Feel Anxious?

9th July 2024 2 min read

Feeling anxious is common and can be perplexing. As a counsellor, I often help individuals understand why they feel anxious and how to cope. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons behind anxiety, its symptoms, its causes, and some practical coping strategies.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to stress or perceived danger, manifesting as worry, nervousness, or fear. While it’s normal to feel anxious occasionally, chronic anxiety can interfere with daily life. Anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, involve excessive and persistent worry that’s hard to control.

Why Do I Feel Anxious?

1. Biological Factors

Genetics plays a significant role, as anxiety disorders often run in families. Neurochemical imbalances in the brain, particularly involving serotonin and dopamine, can also contribute to feelings of anxiety.

2. Environmental Factors

Stressful or traumatic life events, such as loss, illness, or financial difficulties, can trigger anxiety. Ongoing stressors like work pressure or relationship problems can also contribute.

3. Psychological Factors

Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism or low self-esteem, can make you more anxious. Additionally, a history of mental health issues or childhood trauma can lead to persistent anxiety.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety affects both the mind and body. Common symptoms include:

  • Emotional Symptoms:
    • Persistent worry or fear
    • Feeling restless or on edge
    • Irritability
    • Difficulty concentrating
  • Physical Symptoms:
    • Increased heart rate
    • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
    • Sweating
    • Trembling or shaking
    • Fatigue
    • Insomnia

Recognising these symptoms is crucial in identifying when anxiety is becoming a problem.

How Can I Manage My Anxiety?

1. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Practising mindfulness, deep breathing, or meditation can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety by focusing on the present moment.

2. Regular Exercise

Physical activity releases endorphins, natural mood lifters that distract from anxious thoughts and improve overall physical health.

3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and limiting caffeine and alcohol can significantly impact anxiety levels. A healthy body supports a healthy mind.

4.  Support Network

Connecting with friends, family, or support groups provides emotional support and reduces feelings of isolation. Sharing experiences can be therapeutic.

5. Professional Help

If anxiety is severe or persistent, seeking professional help is crucial. 


Understanding why you feel anxious is the first step towards managing it effectively. Recognising the symptoms, knowing the causes, and implementing coping strategies can significantly improve your quality of life. Remember, anxiety is a common and treatable condition. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek help. As a counsellor, I encourage you to take proactive steps towards understanding your anxiety, becoming resourced, and achieving a more balanced, fulfilling life.