Anxiety is a general term covering feelings of worry, fear, nervousness and apprehensiveness. We all experience anxiety at times. Most people will have felt the tense, nervousness feelings associated with anxiety when faced with certain challenges such as sitting an exam, attending a job interview, visiting the dentist, taking part in an important sporting event or making a wedding speech. These feelings are normal. This anxiety relates to worries about making a mistake or saying something foolish, or perhaps not being as successful as you hoped to be. These worries can have a wide range of physical effects on the anxious person, including disturbed sleep, lack of appetite or nausea.
Occasional episodes of mild anxiety are not usually a problem. In fact they can be beneficial in making you alert and ready to perform at your best. Once the challenge has passed, so do the feelings of anxiety. However, severe anxiety, where the feelings are out of proportion to the extent or duration of its cause, can have a serious effect on daily life. In other words, anxiety can be a problem when the feelings of anxiety are so overwhelming that they significantly affect your physical health or ability to function or perform.