Anxiety can be described as a general feeling of apprehension, dread or worry about a possible danger, comprising of both psychological and physiological states. Often anxiety is a normal reaction to stressor or demand from the environment. Mild levels of anxiety are also helpful as it facilitates performance and coping. For example, some degree of examination anxiety is necessary as it compels us to study. If prolonged and severe, it comes to be recognized as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is an inappropriate reaction to an object/situation/person. Often anxiety can occur without an identifiable stressor. This differentiates it from fear which is in context to an identified physical threat.
There are various components of anxiety like physiological, emotional, cognitive and behavioural. In states of anxiety, physiologically one may experience muscle tension, increased heart and breathing rate, sweaty palms, choking sensations, trembling, dizziness, restlessness, upset stomach etc. Emotional states may include feelings of dread, worry, irritability etc. Cognitive symptoms may be difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, repetitive thoughts, fear of being harmed, being ill or dying etc. Behavioural effects may include avoidance of anxiety provoking situations, changes in sleep pattern, increased motor activity due to restlessness etc.