Always worry or feeling anxious

  • Acknowledge that anxiety is a natural human response.

Do not misinterpret the symptoms (e.g. rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fearful thoughts) as something awful or uncontrollable. Once you are able to identify your triggers, you need to recognize that your anxiety is a normal response to these triggers. By normalizing your anxiety, you are able to stop the anxiety from spiralling out of control.

  • Do not get stuck with one way of perceiving a situation.Recognize that there could be alternative outcome in every situation.
  • Reframe your thoughtsby changing your negative self-talk to positive. For example, instead of labelling a situation as a “one of the worst moment”, re-phrase it to be “one of the best lessons” or instead labelling an issue as “a problem”, you can see it as “a challenge”
  • Do not worry when you have nothing to be worried about!Often times we tend to believe that we need to feel anxious 24/7 to defend ourselves from potential harm (even when there is no actual threat!). Acknowledge that you can a have a “stress-free” period in life and be willing to take chances. As Erma Bombeck says: “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”

Anxiety is a normal response to threat or stresses caused by an internal or external trigger. It works as an alarm system to alert us of a perceived danger. However, anxiety becomes a disorder when it was prolonged or excessive. Let’s find out more…


Anxiety is a normal response to threat or stresses caused by an internal or external trigger. It works as an alarm system to alert us of a perceived danger.

However, anxiety becomes a DISORDER when

  • It AFFECTS your personal, social and/or occupational functioning
  • The INTENSITY becomes severe & DURATION is prolonged
  • It is experienced in the ABSENCE of stressful situations
  • It is characterized by EXCESSIVE feelings of nervousness, uncertainty, and fear.



Below are some common symptoms of anxiety:

  • Physical: Heart racing & pounding, chest tightness, muscle tension, sweating, trembling or shaking, feeling of choking, feeling dizzy and nausea.
  • Psychological: Worrying thoughts, attention and concentration difficulties, sleep difficulties, restlessness, irritability, hypervigilant, fear of losing control.


Uncontrolled anxiety can have several negative consequences. These effects are such as:

  • Poor physical health due to constant increase in blood pressure, sleep problems, muscle tension etc due to anxiety.
  • Poor psychological functioning due to prolong worrying which caused us to be hypervigilant, restless, irritable and unable to relax..
  • Poor occupation/academic performances as we are preoccupied with thoughts of “what-if” and fail to focus on the actual tasks at hand.
  • Poor social functioning as we might avoid public places due to anxiety or may be suspicious of other’s behaviour towards us.


Identify your triggers to deal with anxiety

Although anxiety can be triggered by a specific or multiple situations or objects, sometimes, it can also be ‘free-floating’, when there is no specific trigger that can be identified. Anxiety can be triggered by:

  • Internal triggers: Fear of uncertainty, changes, loss and/or pain, past trauma, changes in bodily experiences.
  • External triggers: People’s behaviour, life events, financial or possessions, crowded places, loud noises, animals and/or objects.



Regulate your breathing

  • Place your hands on your abdomen
  • Inhale through your nose & exhale through your mouth
  • Exhale longer (2 seconds) than to you inhale
  • Focus on the rise & fall of your abdomen as your breathe


Distract yourself from anxiety to regain control of your thoughts and action.

  • Look for an object around youwhich interests you. Focus on that object (e.g. a wall painting, vending machine) and think about its usefulness and characteristics until you feel more relax.
  • Talk to someoneregarding a topic that is not related to the anxiety provoking thoughts.
  • Focus on your present moment. Anxiety kicks in when you are lost in your worrying thoughts. Hence, bring your attention back to your present moment by focusing on your 5 senses (i.e. what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste).

Other forms of distraction could be:

  • Read a book
  • Watch the television
  • Play your favourite music
  • Take a short walk

Anxiety Feeling anxious

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