• For Counseling Support to help with Anxiety, please click on Counseling Resources 

    Understanding the Facts:

    Common anxiety signs and symptoms include: 

    • Feeling nervous
    • Feeling powerless
    • Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
    • Having an increased heart rate
    • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
    • Sweating
    • Trembling
    • Feeling weak or tired
    • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry


    Several types of anxiety disorders exist:

    • Separation anxiety disorder is a childhood disorder characterized by excessive anxiety for the developmental level and related to separation from parents or others with parental roles.
    • Selective mutism is a consistent failure to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when you can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work, and social functioning.
    • Specific phobias are characterized by major anxiety when you're exposed to a specific object or situation and have a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.
    • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) involves high levels of anxiety, fear, and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
    • Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain.
    • Agoraphobia is anxiety about, and often avoidance of, places or situations where you might feel trapped or helpless if you start to feel panicky or experience embarrassing symptoms, such as losing control.
    • Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is usually out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and interferes with your ability to focus on current tasks. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
    • Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by prominent symptoms of anxiety or panic that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.
    • Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition includes prominent symptoms of anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem.
    • Specified anxiety disorder and unspecified anxiety disorder are terms for anxiety or phobias that don't meet the exact criteria for any other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.

    Ways to Reduce Anxiety: 
    By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

    1. Take a deep breath.     

    Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique because it activates the body’s relaxation response. It helps the body go from the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the relaxed response of the parasympathetic nervous system, said Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, LLC.

    She suggested this practice: “Try slowly inhaling to a count of 4, filling your belly first and then your chest, gently holding your breath to a count of 4, and slowly exhaling to a count of 4 and repeat several times.”

    2. Accept that you’re anxious.

    Remember that “anxiety is just a feeling, like any other feeling,” said Deibler, also author of the Psych Central blog “Therapy That Works.” By reminding yourself that anxiety is simply an emotional reaction, you can start to accept it, Corboy said.

    Acceptance is critical because trying to wrangle or eliminate anxiety often worsens it. It just perpetuates the idea that your anxiety is intolerable, he said.

    3. Realize that your brain is playing tricks on you.

     Question your thoughts.

    Deibler also suggested asking yourself these questions when challenging your thoughts:

    • “Is this worry realistic?
    • Is this really likely to happen?
    • If the worst possible outcome happens, what would be so bad about that?
    • Could I handle that?
    • What might I do?
    • If something bad happens, what might that mean about me?
    • Is this really true or does it just seem that way?
    • What might I do to prepare for whatever may happen?”

     Use a calming visualization.

    Hyland suggested practicing the following meditation regularly, which will make it easier to access when you’re anxious in the moment.

    “Picture yourself on a river bank or outside in a favorite park, field or beach. Watch leaves pass by on the river or clouds pass by in the sky. Assign [your] emotions, thoughts [and] sensations to the clouds and leaves, and just watch them float by.”

     Use positive self-talk

    Anxiety can produce a lot of negative chatter. Tell yourself “positive coping statements,”  Deibler said. For instance, you might say, “this anxiety feels bad, but I can use strategies to manage it.”


    Focus on right now

    Breathe and pay attention to what’s happening right now. Even if something serious is happening, focusing on the present moment will improve your ability to manage the situation.

    Focus on meaningful activities. 

    When you’re feeling anxious, it’s also helpful to focus your attention on a “meaningful, goal-directed activity,” Corboy said. He suggested asking yourself what you’d be doing if you weren’t anxious.


    Below are some helpful websites with some additional information about anxiety. Please note that Antioch CCSD 34 does not endorse these websites. They may include blogs and information that may or may not be obtained by reputable sources.