There are many times when it is normal to feel anxious. An exam, job interview or even a tense sports fixture can all bring plenty of nerves. But afterwards, things should return to normal.

However, that isn’t the case for everyone. Some people find they feel anxious a lot of the time, which is usually not justified. This could be the first sign that you may need counselling for an anxiety disorder.

However, there are some more specific symptoms you may suffer from. These include:

  •       Restlessness and fatigue
  •       Muscle tension, sometimes to the point of feeling like you are almost having a heart attack
  •       Irritability
  •       Lack of sleep
  •       Difficulty in concentrating

If you have multiple symptoms at once, that is a possible sign you have an anxiety disorder, But the clearest sign is if these are present all or most of the time, which can be relentless and emotionally exhausting.

Left untreated, this could have major consequences for your quality of life, as you would spend every day on edge expecting things to go wrong at any time, while not being able to relax and enjoy the best parts of life. This can even impact things like your sex life.

The first step to tackling these problems is to acknowledge there is an issue. Don’t try to brush it off. Seeking counselling or other help is the next step, because it means rather than feeling helpless and unable to control negative emotions, you are starting to fight back.

Measures like mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you wrest back control of your runaway thoughts. A counsellor can help you see how your feelings do not always tell the truth (and seldom do when they are negative and even catastrophic).

Bringing anxiety under control is not easy, but with the right help, you can equip yourself with the tools to keep a tight rein on it, ensuring negative thoughts do not end up controlling your mood and dominating your life.