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Why Does Anxiety Feel So Bad? Explained in 98 Seconds

Fear is a state triggered by real, objective danger. When there is an actual threat staring you in the face, fear activates the release of chemicals into your body to help you survive. This is otherwise known as the famous fight, flight or freeze response.

As humans have evolved, we’ve fine-tuned our capacity to think critically about the future and anticipate threats. Unfortunately, simple thoughts about things that could “go wrong” can throw the body into fight-flight-freeze mode–this is anxiety. Anxiety mimics the fear or stress response.

So, why does anxiety feel so bad? Your pulse quickens, your heart speeds up, your chest tightens, you sweat, your muscles tense up, you tremble, your hands tingle, your breath turns shallow, your throat tightens, your tummy feels funny, you feel like you might pass out… all of this can happen from a simple worried thought in your head.

If you’ve ever had trouble explaining why anxiety feels so bad to friends or family, check out the video above.

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Why Does Anxiety Feel So Bad? Explained in 98 Seconds

Renee Jain, MAPP

Renee Jain is an award-winning tech entrepreneur turned speaker and certified life coach. She also holds a masters in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Renee specializes in cultivating skills of resilience in both adults and children. Her passion is taking research-based concepts and transforming them into fun and digestible learning modules. For children, she has created one-of-a-kind anxiety relief programs at GoZen! delivered via engaging animated shorts.

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APA Reference
Jain, R. (2017). Why Does Anxiety Feel So Bad? Explained in 98 Seconds. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Nov 2017
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