Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Dealing with anxiety

3-minute read

Anxiety is a normal part of life and everybody feels it from time to time. However, when anxiety gets overwhelming and doesn't go away, it can be difficult to know how to manage it. By understanding what triggers your anxiety, you can develop strategies to cope.

Understand your anxiety triggers

Anxiety-related disorders come in many forms, and can trigger common anxiety reactions, such as panic attacks. Some of the common triggers include:

  • family history – you are more likely to develop anxiety if you have a family history of anxiety
  • patterns of thinking – unhelpful thoughts or habits in the way you think might contribute to anxious feelings
  • your physical health – if you suffer from other health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure, it can make you more vulnerable to anxiety
  • drug and alcohol use
  • other mental health conditions, such as depression

Sometimes physical conditions such as an overactive thyroid gland can mimic anxiety, so if you regularly suffer from the symptoms of anxiety, it’s best to see a doctor and have this assessed.

Tips for reducing anxiety

If you are feeling anxious or stressed, there are some strategies you can use to help manage anxiety yourself. These include:

Know your sources of support

If you are experiencing anxiety, it can help to talk to family and friends about how you are feeling. They can offer support, understanding, or just listen to you.

Where to get help

There are online support groups such as beyondblue and the Black Dog Institute that provide opportunities to talk with other people who have had similar experiences. Online support for anxiety is also available from:

A number of apps that may help you deal with anxiety are also available for download:

However, sometimes it is not possible to manage the condition by yourself and you might want to seek professional help. By talking with your doctor, you can decide on the right treatment strategy for you. This might involve referring you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Psychologists can offer talking therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, whereas psychiatrists offer both talking therapies and medication.

Last reviewed: April 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 266 results

How To Deal with Anxiety and Worry | THIS WAY UP

Experiencing irrational or uncontrollable worries? You may be suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Learn more about GAD.

Read more on This Way Up website

How To Deal With Social Anxiety, Social Phobia and Shyness | THIS WAY UP

Having difficulty interacting with people? Does shyness impact heavily on your life? Learn about social anxiety and how to deal with it.

Read more on This Way Up website

Dealing with bullying

Bullying can be incredibly damaging. It causes distress and can lead to loneliness, anxiety and depression. Bullying can also affect childrens concentration and achievement at school.

Read more on beyondblue website

How To Deal with Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia | THIS WAY UP

Feeling overwhelmed by panic? You may be dealing with panic attacks, panic disorder, or agoraphobia. Learn more about these conditions.

Read more on This Way Up website

How To Deal With Phobias and Being Scared | THIS WAY UP

Do you have an overwhelming and irrational fear of something? You may be suffering from a phobia. Learn more about phobias.

Read more on This Way Up website

Depression and anxiety in older men

Depression and anxiety in older people can happen for different reasons, such as dealing with a physical illness or personal loss.

Read more on beyondblue website

Supporting someone with anxiety or depression

Helpful information for support people, friends and relatives of people who are dealing with depression/anxiety

Read more on beyondblue website

Social Anxiety | WayAhead

Social Anxiety Disorder is an intense fear of social situations that could result in negative judgments by other people. Situations that may cause anxiety for people with this disorder include meeting new people, starting a conversation, and eating or drinking in front of others. While many people feel worried in some

Read more on WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW website

How To Deal with OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder | THIS WAY UP

Are you struggling with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours? Learn more about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Read more on This Way Up website

Generalised Anxiety Disorder | WayAhead

Generalised Anxiety Disorder is intense anxiety and worry about a variety of events and issues (for example, work, health, family), and the worry is out of proportion to the situation. People with Generalised Anxiety Disorder have difficulty controlling their worry. They may feel like they are always worrying about

Read more on WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback