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Anxiety can be defined as a vague sense of unsafety and unease, characterized by apprehension and restlessness. It is normal for us to feel some anxiety in situations where there is a real sense of danger or in situations that are new or unpredictable. However, if you find yourself plagued by anxious feelings and unable to cope effectively with them, then it may be time to seek help.

Symptoms of anxiety may include

  • shortness of breath
  • sweaty hands and feet
  • muscle tension
  • trembling or shaking
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • problems sleeping
  • restlessness
  • persistent negative thoughts
  • feelings of panic or fear

Chronic anxiety can lead one to feel isolated and trapped. For youth, chronic anxiety often interferes with school performance, the ability to make and keep friends, one’s self-esteem, and healthy eating/sleeping habits. If untreated, youth are at risk for depression, substance abuse and suicide.

Fortunately, you do not need to continue to live this way. There are ways to manage your anxiety so that it no longer negatively impacts your life. Through the use of mindfulness and relaxation techniques, you can learn to cope with anxiety in a healthier way. Realizing that you can have control over your anxiety is empowering, freeing and life-giving.