Anxiety makes life better?

Could the mental health condition actually benefit you?

Strictly Come Dancing star Charles Venn reveals secret anxiety hell

Dancing the samba in an open shirt, Charles Venn's gloriously ripped abs were on display and he oozed with confidence as he and Karen Clifton scored their highest ever marks on Strictly , two 10s and two nines.

He is in the best shape of his life but Charles admits for the first time that he was once so consumed with anxiety and hypochondria he could not swallow food.

Speaking about the health anxiety he began suffering in his teens, Charles says: "I remember getting so nervous about getting a heart attack.

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Anxiety is a type of fear usually associated with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, but can also arise from something happening right now.

One in six people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety. It is also likely that individuals do not seek help for significant levels of anxiety, meaning many remain without diagnosis or treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?

Life is full of potential stressful events and it is normal to feel anxious about everyday things. There can be a single trigger or event that raises anxiety levels, but generally it's be a number of things that increase anxiety levels, including exams, work deadlines, how we think we look, going on a first date or whether we feel safe travelling home late at night.

Anxiety has a strong effect on us because it's one of our natural survival responses. It causes our mind and body to speed up to prepare us to respond to an emergency.

Some of the physical things that might happen are:

  • rapid and/or irregular heartbeat

  • fast breathing

  • weakened or tense muscles

  • sweating

  • churning stomach or loose bowels

  • dizziness

  • dry mouth.

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How My Anxiety Actually Makes My Life Better

It's way past midnight and I'm not sleeping. You know the feeling: There's a tightness in my chest, a too-quick heartbeat, an internal voice with nothing nice to say. I can't stop thinking about the build-up of unread messages in my inbox. Can I really put off responding? What if someone needs something? Will my clients think I'm a flake?

I'm not supposed to be working-my wedding is three days away. But here I am in the dark, flipping open my laptop, firing off responses to every last email.

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