Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components. These components combine to create an unpleasant feeling that is typically associated with uneasiness, fear, or worry.
Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that occurs without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which occurs in the presence of an observed threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.
Another view is that anxiety is "a future-oriented mood state in which one is ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events" suggesting that it is a distinction between future vs. present dangers that divides anxiety and fear.
Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to stress. It may help a person to deal with a difficult situation, for example at work or at school, by prompting one to cope with it. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.
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