Anxiety is defined as the experience of feeling fear in the absence of an actual threat.
You may say to yourself “I’m anxious about things that could actually happen or that might actually happen in the future and isn’t that an actual threat?” The answer is not really.
An actual threat occurs when a predator or other traumatic event is occurring in the moment; the emotion related to an actual experience for that happens is called fear. Anxiety is in the fear family of emotions because you are perceiving a threat.
Anxiety is harmful because it prompts a fight/flight/or freeze response prompting a hormonal cascade allowing a person to respond to a potential predator. This hormonal cascade is harmful because it sets off physiological reactions which is why anxiety physically feels bad.
Read our latest information on handling anxiety over the recent Coronavirus outbreak.