Whenever you encountered something stressful, anxiety comes in. Anxiety is a normal response in an attempt to increase the body’s level of awareness and reaction. A body’s way to relay that there is something which made you feel in tension.  However, a person with anxiety disorder tends to be anxious easily, more often than what is reasonable over small issues or even irrelevant situations at times. Your body reacts to anxiety in several various ways as the level of anxiety increases. Hildegard E. Peplau, the founder of the psychiatric nursing, described the 4 levels of anxiety with each having different scenarios that can be experienced variously.

Mild Anxiety

This is the level of anxiety which is reasonable, manageable and common in everyday life. People experience this all the time as this is what makes people keep going on about their daily tasks. This level of anxiety is healthy and motivational as this prepares a person for action and therefore, you are likely to be receptive and flexible to any situations. You can simply think well, comprehend, judge appropriately and works at an optimal level.

Moderate Anxiety

At this level of anxiety, you are likely nervous or agitated and you concentrate more on the perceived problems, easily bothered by external stimuli and you have the tendency to disregard some of your important tasks. A person with a moderate level of anxiety, usually has a rapid speech, exaggerated hand and arm movements, uneasiness, faster heartbeat, dry mouth, and sweating.

Severe Anxiety

This happens when a person suspects something different and a life threatening that hugely affect one to function normally. This exhibits the response of agitation and danger that intensify the symptoms such as vomiting, severe headache, pounding heartbeat, unsettled behavior, chest pain, scattered thoughts, trembling and a sense of impending doom. With severe anxiety, your capability and means to focus and solve problems are impaired, which can cause further anxiety.

Panic-level Anxiety

This is the most uncontrollable and disturbing level as all rational thinking ceases and or inability to move or speak and perceptions might be distorted. Drastic life stressors extremely precipitate panic anxiety with the person having the following symptoms: extreme sweating, chest pain, accelerated heartbeat, trembling, and shortness of breath, numbness, nausea and extreme “fear”.

Coping / Management

Life’s adversities can truly cause anxiety on different levels depending on the person’s ability to handle or rebound to situations. For mild and moderate levels, talking to someone you trust and open up what you have been through may help a lot. This lessens the burden and they may help suggest solutions to the problem. Also, engaging in any relaxing activities like listening to music, yoga, meditation and any form of workout will greatly reduce the level of anxiety. Severe and panic levels of anxiety may require you to immediately step out from the stressors before it leads to something serious or seeks professional help. All levels of anxiety can be normal in a specific period of time in a certain situation. However, recurrent and successive anxiety that alters your daily functioning might indicate an anxiety disorder. If you feel like you are experiencing beyond what is normal, then you need to seek professional help as early as possible.