Anxiety and stress are perfectly normal, healthy human reactions: they’re part of the primal 'fight or flight' response that stopped us from being eaten by sabre-toothed tigers.
These days the things that stress us are more likely to involve school, work or relationships than hungry animals, but the way our bodies react is just the same. Our breathing speeds up in response to the threat, our heart beats faster and we start to feel very unwell. We might also feel butterflies in our stomachs, a change in our body temperature or our cheeks blushing.
Those things are all completely normal, but if the symptoms don’t go away then that can become a problem.
Anxiety can affect how you think, how you feel and behave and can lead to negative patterns of thinking and behaving. It can be either physiologically or cognitively dominated and affects sleep patterns and your ability to cope with stress.
Some people are more susceptible to anxiety because of a genetic predisposition, their current circumstances or previous experiences, but we can all learn how to manage the feelings and handle the ups and downs that happen to all of us.