Everyone experiences the symptoms of anxiety at some point in life. For some, anxiety can be a passing emotion attached to life circumstances or situations such as exams, getting married, work pressures or retirement. For others, dealing with anxiety is something they experience on an ongoing basis that really interferes with their life. Anxiety is a common experience for both men and women.

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • A racing heart

  • Rapid breathing/ breathlessness

  • Feelings of panic

  • Sweating

  • Excessive and undue worrying

  • Disturbed sleep

  • Tense muscles

  • Headaches

  • Morbid thoughts

  • Upset stomach

  • Fear of losing control

Tips for overcoming anxiety

When thinking about support, it is important to recognise that everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety in a unique way, meaning help, treatment and support can change from person to person. What works for one person may not for another. It is useful to think about what you feel will help you, and not to feel you are beyond help if a certain type of treatment doesn’t work out.

  • Talk about it
    Talking about your experience with anxiety often helps and can give you a sense of perspective. Try talking with a friend or family member.  Talking therapies aimed at treating anxiety might also be of help – ask a G.P. about psychology and counselling in your local area. Find tips for starting the conversation.

  • Mind your wellbeing
    Go to the good mental health section for lots of practical tips on little things you can do to feel better. Things that might help include: relaxing; exercising; eating well; getting enough sleep; breathing exercises and avoiding too much alcohol or drugs.

  • Get support If you have tried the above tips and they aren't helping, visit a G.P. or a support organisation.  Learn about how a G.P. can help or search for services and supports in your area.

  • Oanda (the Out and About Association) Oanda is an anxiety resource centre developed to provide help to anyone suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, social phobias or agoraphobia. They have offices in Dublin and Cork and run workshops in different locations around the country.  Visit www.oandaireland.ie.

  • Social Anxiety Ireland Offered by the Adult Psychological Service, this programme has been set up within the Mater Hospital in Dublin. The group has an informative website about anxiety, treatment and the things you can do for yourself. Visit socialanxietyireland.com.

  • Self help books There are lots of self-help books and CDs available to help people who experience anxiety. A G.P. may be able to recommend ones that suit your needs or check out the H.S.E.’s list of self help reading.

  • More information online: SpunOut.ie provides lots of information about anxiety as part of their Know Anxiety campaign. This includes articles on different types of anxiety such as General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and phobias.