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Managing Anxiety with Mindfulness For Dummies by Joelle Jane Marshall

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Chapter 1

Peering into the World of Anxiety

In This Chapter

  • Finding out what anxiety is
  • Exploring the effects of anxiety
  • Using mindfulness to tackle anxiety

Anxiety is very common. Everyone experiences some form of anxiety on a day-to-day basis. It can be a helpful emotion, making you focused, alert and productive, but it can also be incredibly upsetting, uncomfortable and hard to live with.

In this chapter, I describe the nature, experience and symptoms of anxiety, show how it can affect your body and mind and help you discern whether your levels of anxiety are severe or normal. I also introduce you to mindfulness – what it involves and how it can help when battling anxiety – including a short mindfulness exercise for you to try.

Comparing Fear, Excitement and Anxiety

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Fear, excitement and anxiety are all common emotions. All three can conjure the same feelings, but crucial differences exist between them. Fear and excitement can be helpful emotions, whereas anxiety can sometimes result in a lot of discomfort. In this section, I explain the differences between these three feelings.

Investigating fear

Fear is a natural emotion, as is anxiety. In fact, fear raises the same feelings that anxiety can, such as alarm or apprehension. The difference is that with fear, these feelings have a reason behind them.

Fear is a feeling of terror, distress or alarm caused by a danger or a threat. ...

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