Anxiety and fear - perfectly normal responses that sometimes happen in the wrong situations.
Anxiety when needed is a useful thing - we feel the fear, we respond and we keep ourselves safe. Or at least that was how it was designed to work, back in our ancestors day when life was much simpler - back then the things we feared were more likely to be worth fearing. Today we have so much clutter and noise in our lives. We have the instinctive drives that we want to follow but cant, alongside moral codes and what is expected of us, as well as having our own previous learning about what is fearful and what isn't.
During chronic stress, cortisol is activated and sent around our bodies to prepare for danger - even when there is none.
The sympathetic nervous system gives the signal to release adrenaline This is useful for short-term stress or when we need to respond to something, but not so much when it becomes over stimulated or long term.
You may feel waves of anxiety that occasionally feel very intense, especially if it turns out to be just after a news announcement or hearing something unsettling. It doesn't mean you can't cope, it just means you are reacting in a normal way to a frightening or uncertain event. This can then become background anxiety - constant thoughts of what may happen, how you'll cope, and it becomes a cycle of worry, stress, anxiety.
You may pick up anxiety from others around you, whether that's online or in person. We have a tendency to pick up on emotion around us and get carried along with it. Ask yourself is this my feeling or someone else's? Are the things they are passing to me real, or imagined.
As humans we have a natural tendency to look for the danger and any threats to our survival and safety, so we will tend to overestimate the dangers and underestimate our abilities or resources. We have an in built super scanner, keeping us alert to threat - ask yourself is your super scanner filtering out the facts among the hysteria.
Fear is a great tool for survival. It makes you carefully consider the possibilities and gives you an awareness of danger - without fear you'd be in more danger! I know this sounds strange, but that in-built fear system keeps you alert and lets you know when it's time to act. Ask yourself is there anything I can practically do right now, is this fear justified, is it fact or opinion.
The subconscious survival system has an inbuilt instinct to find safety under threat... but without a clear idea of the danger as in the case of generalised anxiety, we cannot easily meet that instinctive need for safety, so we will feel more anxiety.
One of the quickest ways I've found to deal with anxiety is to accept it - don't fight it. Tell yourself it's your brain trying to keep you safe and getting it wrong - overestimating the danger. Distract yourself with a grounding technique or something else, and wait for it to pass. By normalizing the feeling, it loses its power.
If you need further help, get in touch.
For anxiety with no known cause, or sudden onset of panic attacks it's really important you have a check with your GP before commencing any therapy.