What is Anxiety?

What Is AnxietyAnxiety is complex, overwhelming, and sometimes debilitating. Often we can find ourselves trapped in a vicious cycle of fear, anticipation, and doubt that begins from one simple thought. Our minds have the ability to do amazing things from creating our own creative worlds to solving difficult problems. However, when we are anxious, our minds can take us to scary places. In this blog, we are going to take a look at what anxiety is.

Two Types Of Anxiety Experiences

Neuroscientist and professor David Pittman, Ph. D., describes two types of anxiety experiences: a cortex experience and an amygdala experience. His point is that anxiety can manifest itself as thoughts, which is a cortex experience, or as physiological sensations, which is an amygdala experience. When we hear “anxiety,” we often think of thoughts about bad things happening or worrying about what others think of us. Something important to remember is anxiety can present as a small scale worry, such as an upcoming test, or a large scale worry, such as pain or loss.

How To Know If You Are Experiencing Anxiety

Have you found yourself experiencing any of the following:

  • Practicing Problem Situations: Thinking About What Could Go Wrong and What You Would Do
  • Reflecting On Past Problems and How You Could Have Done Things Differently
  • Having Constant Thoughts That Prevent Sleep
  • Imagining Social Situations In Which Others Judge You
  • Thinking About The Worst Happening
  • Feeling Overwhelmed or Inadequate When Problems Arise
  • Taking Comments Too Personally

These thoughts are common in people who are experiencing anxiety and feel stuck in their thoughts.

It is easy to get caught in this cycle of “what if” and “should have” thinking, but there is hope! Counseling can help you put these thoughts in perspective and find ways to challenge and reframe them. At Garrett Counseling in Huntsville, AL, our counselors have extensive experience working with individuals experiencing anxiety. Contact us today at (256) 239-5662 or online to schedule an appointment.


Emily Tester, a mental health counselor at Garrett Counseling in Huntsville, AL, wrote this blog. She was inspired by a training she attended by Dr. David Pittman, Ph.D. Learn more about Emily by clicking here, and learn more about Dr. Pittman by clicking here.

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