Much like everything else in life, anxiety is only healthy in small doses. Healthy levels help you to become more alert, and give the push you need to do certain things. The problem, though, is that you don’t manage these levels yourself. According to the World Health Organisation, anxiety is the most common type of mental disorder, with one in 13 people globally suffering from it.
Anxiety is the result of a perceived future threat. Counselling psychologist and lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand Buyisile Mncina says, “anxiety includes disorders that share features of excessive fear and anxiety, and related behavioural disturbances. It is often associated with muscle tension and vigilance in preparation for future danger, and cautious or avoidant behaviours.”
Being anxious about a task is normal. But, it becomes an issue if the anxiety stops you from performing it or doesn’t go away once you’ve started. “An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, can be chronic and debilitating. The worry is constant, and impacts your functioning negatively,” counselling psychologist Lungako Mweli says.