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Anxiety is an inner, nervous uneasiness that can color thoughts, behaviors, and physical sensations.
- A state of high arousal
- Characterized by inhibition of parasympathetic system
- Natural state, common to all animals
- Often a productive driving force
- Preparatory state for danger in the future
- Facilitates the activation of appropriate fear
Worry, a cognitive component of anxiety, includes a variety of mental attempts to avoid anticipated potential threats.
- On its own, worry has no bodily consequences or increased physical arousal.
- Worry is the "thought" component of anxiety.
- In moderation, worry is just another word for preparation.
- One may suffer from over preparation.
Anxiety, when appropriate, serves important roles as a preparatory state, motivator, and performance enhancer. However, when it is inappropriately severe, chronic, or unwarranted, it can be disabling. Both normal and pathological anxiety can exist as either a trait (an aspect of a person’s general temperament) or a state (a temporary condition).
Clinical anxiety is an emotional and physical response to a real or perceived danger that is not only highly distressing, but can also lead to avoidance behaviors that impair functioning.
- Emotional anxiety:
- Expectation or anticipatory fear
- Trouble concentrating
- Physical anxiety:
- Autonomic hyperactivity, including increased heart rate, palpitations, increased work of breathing, nausea, vomiting
- Muscle tension, tremor