Understanding Anxiety

Published on 1st December, 2020 by Benjamin Low

Understanding Anxiety

We’ve all been anxious before and had the “What ifs” run through our head. It’s only natural – the pursuit of important things naturally brings some worry. You’ll also notice that it brings a host of physical sensations as your body prepares to address the threat. Some of these sensations include an upset tummy, tight breathing, sweating, muscle tension, and sometimes even physical pain.

The most important thing is to understand whether anxiety is being your friend or foe for a given matter. On one hand, anxiety can make us take precautions and motivate construction action. On the other hand, too much worry can make us avoid important tasks or make us overthink until we get ‘paralysis by analysis’.

We can evaluate anxiety with the concept of a true or false alarm. A ‘true alarm’ means that anxiety is warning you appropriately about things you need to work on. Let’s face it – anyone who’s going on a date would know how a tinge of anxiety encourages us to bring out that slick hairdo and lovely makeup.

Anxiety works against us when it’s a ‘false alarm’. That is, we’re excessively anxious over something, or anxious in the absence of an actual threat. It’s like a fire alarm that’s gone off without a fire. You’ll have felt it when you thought you missed a meeting, date, or deadline only to realise that it’s not due yet.

You can learn more about anxiety in Issue 3 Read the original article of the Singapore Psychologist, a public newsletter that’s published by the Singapore Psychological Society. Our psychologist, Benjamin, wrote the opening article to help people understand the basics of anxiety and how it might look like in everyday life.

Psychotherapy is great at helping us recognize and manage anxiety so that we can live our lives with fulfilment. We can help you manage anxiety over work, school, health, relationships, or other matters that are important to you. After all, life is better spent living than worrying.

Benjamin Low

About the Author - Benjamin Low

Benjamin is a clinical psychologist who has practiced across hospital, corporate, and university settings. He helps late adolescents and adults of all ages address psychological challenges, physical health problems, and occupational difficulties.

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