What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal physical and psychological response to our minds perceiving a threat to our physical or psychological wellbeing. Blood, hormones and adrenalin pump through our body getting it ready to fight or flee. An exam will not kill us; sometimes it just feels that way to our minds!

Some symptoms of anxiety might include:

  • excessive worry
  • negative thoughts
  • avoiding situations
  • shaking
  • pain in the chest
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty concentrating
  • light headedness
  • sense of being overwhelmed by panic.

Find out more about anxiety and anxiety disorders at Youth Beyond Blue.

What you can do

Support online

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is effective in helping people overcome anxiety. Reduce your anxiety by registering and completing Mental Health Online – a 12 week program for mild to moderate anxiety you can do on your own for free, or if your anxiety is more severe, for a small weekly fee you can receive additional email support from a counsellor.

Apps that help

  • Practice slowing down your thoughts through mindfulness with Smiling Mind (iOS).
  • Face your fears with the Mayo Clinic’s Anxiety Coach. (iOS).
  • Let go of anxious thoughts with the ACT Companion (iOS and Android).

Simple things

  • Learn to breathe slowly and shallowly, this reduces the physical symptoms of anxiety.
  • Take some exercise to help reduce the instances of anxiety and panic.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine as it can increase heart rate, which is one symptom of anxiety.
  • Relaxing the body reduces the physical symptoms of anxiety so have a massage, a hot bath, garden, listening to music or a relaxation podcast (Mp3, 18 mins). Download it below.

Download the relaxation podcast here

Anxiety and your study

When anxiety or panic attacks seriously affect your ability to perform your best on assessments, you can apply for an equitable assessment arrangement.

Community support