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Based on the cognitive nature of the human’s contemplation process, it is pretty usual to anticipate and surmise the occurrence and effects of some unpredictable and arbitrary future events. But when these anticipatory thoughts are more inclined towards the anxious and trouble-causing feelings that occur compellingly, they can come forth as an anticipatory anxiety disorder that is an irrefutable invader of sound mental health of humans. 

Some of the most probably occurring future events that can contribute to your high levels of anticipatory anxiety and result in fight and flight response include visiting an unfamiliar place and flying on an airplane. A person experiencing this type of anxiety reports intimations like a racing heart, upset stomach, sweaty palms, shallow and raised breathing rate, headache, and a faster pulse rate.

As evident from recent research, it is estimated that about 8 million population in the UK is confronting this mental health ailment, and we can count it as one of the most predominately occurring mental psychic health complications. Anticipatory anxiety usually comes with the manifestations of fear apprehension similar to the indications of other mental health illnesses, counting generalised anxiety disorder, social phobia, and panic attack disorder.

Anticipatory anxiety develops- when individuals’ expertise increases anxiety and nervousness when they imagine a milestone that would happen in the future. This disorder is not a conspicuous mental state; anticipatory anxiety is a generic syndrome of other conditions, which include panic disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Anticipatory anxiety may eventually be in response to colossal events such as giving an interview for a job. But it can also command minor day-to-day activities such as parking your car, driving to work or communicating with confederates. 

Types of Anxiety Disorders UK

If you are facing panic disorder, you may find yourself anticipating many life happenings. Going into a supermarket, presenting in gatherings, and other happenings may be a daily focus of your anticipation. You perhaps didn’t give much attention to any of these specific events before you had a panic attack. But now, impatience may cause you to feel anxious and intercede with your capability to fully function in your daily life.

Anticipatory anxiety is nearly integrated with the manner you think. Your thoughts, in most cases, are engrossed in traumatising about having a panic attack, with panic disorder that will terminate in embarrassment, deadly shooting pain, a heart attack, or even the situation could get worse.

  • People having panic disorders are well-known for “What If” worries. Several worries are much the same in most cases:
  • What If I have a panic attack, and the accident could have easily been prevented? 
  • What If I begin to panic in the classroom and humiliate myself with my weird behaviour?
  • What If, while having an appetite with my friends at a restaurant, I can’t take in my food and start off choking on it? 
  • What If I take a walk to a nearby place and begin to panic and can’t get back?

Although researches are still going on based on existing data, it has been evident that anticipatory anxiety can result from many causes and triggers. However, the predominately affecting are given below that are found in agonising the ailment to the maximum:

Inherent Causes

Inherent causes usually tend to run down in families generations after generation and essentially occur due to a gene defect.

Medical Causes

Some medical illnesses can be stimulants in this situation for anticipatory anxiety, thyroid disorder, heart diseases, and many others.

Life Eventualities

In daily life, the traumatic chapters, high stress, and fear-causing scenarios can effortlessly indulge you in anticipatory anxiety disorder.


Abuse of certain medications has also been noticed as a responsible factor for this mental health disorder. It can be a side effect of a particular medicine or a result of pullout from a specific medication.

Trigger Actions

Trigger actions that work along with other health disturbances to raise mental health irregularities and majorly anticipatory anxiety are:

  • Preparing for a job interview
  • Getting on a plane
  • Preparing for a speech
  • Musical, athletic, and other evaluations
  • Starting a job
  • A medical surgery
  • A difficult conversation
  • Applying for a new job
  • Trying out something new and unfamiliar
  • Going for vacations
  • Going on a date or visiting a party
  • Projects, tests, and oral reports
  • Joining a team, sport, or a club

Anticipatory anxiety influences people to feel nervous, bothered, or frightened about the future. Individuals may lavish their time lodging on the worst-case scenarios regarding future events. 

Those who experience anticipatory anxiety will conventionally have other syndromes like emotional, mental, and physical symptoms, which specifically differ from one individual to another. 

Physical Indications:

Some common physical anticipatory anxiety indications include:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Heart Pulsation
  • Insensitivity of tingling
  • Upset Stomach
  • Tremendous feelings of fear
  • Overthinking about the future
  • Inconvenience in concentrating
  • Over-sweating and shakiness of hands
  • Unrealistic feelings

Emotional Indications:

Emotional indications in anticipatory anxiety include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Misinterpreted
  • Wrath
  • Confused
  • Out of control
  • Solitary

The central objective of overcoming anticipatory anxiety is to know that you are trapped psychologically and can get better in this situation. You will not always feel this way. But while you are efforting with anticipatory anxiety, you could hardly find positivity in any situation.

Several ways and means to endure anticipatory anxiety are given in the following paragraphs & if you’re a person with a panic disorder, you should adopt any of them. 

Understand And Habitude Relaxation Method

By understanding & making a habit of practising relaxation methods, you will be Competent enough to minimise your level of anticipatory anxiety. These techniques can be ( it is giving uncertainty) so much accommodating that you may even be ingenious to tranquilise a panic attack that is in processing. Here are numerous methods that may be very compassionate in improving this disorder be composed of:

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): Day by day, practising compacting (clarity?) and then relaxing the muscles of your body can assist you in becoming an expert to control this tension at a more exceptional level, which is frequently caused by panic attacks. After learning the PMR technique, you will be adequate to manipulate and discharge the tension in your muscles, which has a soothing and remedying effect. 

Deep Breathing: Numerous deep breathing exercises such as shallow breathing, chest vs abdominal breathing, alternate-nostril breathing, belly breathing, and mindful breathing effectively cope with panic attacks and anxiety. Deep breathing exertions are typically easy to learn and can consistently be a practical methodology to diminish panic and fearfulness deep affection. 

Guided Imagery: Guided Imagery is one of the methods of relaxation training that you might discover helpful for anticipatory anxiety. This procedure involves closing your eyes and visualising imagery that assists you to have a feeling of relaxation and calmness. You can use this type of imagery to imagine yourself succeeding in contradistinctive situations, to execute your negative emotions, or simply to help return your body to a peaceful state.

Writing Journal: Journal writing is an activity of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and observations concerning your life events. It lifts you to let go of negativity, concentrate on gratitude and contribute to overcoming anticipatory anxiety. Using journal writing as a coping method can effectively identify your fears, manage your stress, and strengthen your well-being.

Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a relaxation mechanism that brings your awareness back to the present. As a consequence, it can be significant in easing anticipatory anxiety. This act also mentors you to acknowledge your uncongenial thoughts affiliated with fear, judgment, blame, and worry. 

Seek Self-Help Tactic

When you find yourself encountering anticipatory anxiety, there are a minority of tactics that you can prosecute to make it unproblematic for you.

Provocate Anxious Thoughts: When you get anxious about something you have to perform in subsequent time, just question yourself if you are realistic. In an ample amount of cases, you might bump into the fact that you overemphasise or think of critical situations. Provoking such thoughts with real thoughts can calm your sentiments of anxiety.

Compact your thoughts: When negative or anxious thoughts are triggered deliberately, your train of thoughts is interrupted. Emphasise yourself to voluntarily compact on the most valuable things that may happen comparatively running through anxiety-provoking scenarios. 

Take Action: Anticipatory anxiety perpetually directs people to layover the challenges rather than face them, leading to more anxiety. If you tremble to think about something and locate yourself getting distressed about it, take control of the situation first. Bring it in your mind that if you endure this now, you won’t have to spend all of your time feeling bothered about it.

Acquire Professional Aid

At the initial stage, people having an anxiety disorder make an effort to overcome this independently. A few of them succeed in defeating these anxious feelings, but a voluminous amount of people don’t. If you can’t take control of your anxiety on your own, it is compulsory to talk to your doctor or mental health professional in person. A significant number of professionals can assist you with the adversity of anticipatory anxiety.

Panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy (PFPP): The PFPP treatment is comprised of 24 twice-weekly sessions. PFPP supports you in becoming informed of insensible disputes and immune mechanisms that reinforce your anxiety. Although, demonstrations for stated treatment have been described as exceptional verbal skills, psychological mindedness, and interest in the origin of symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a configuration of psychotherapy used in the prescription of mental health constitution. The elementary intellection of CBT is established on the perception that an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and sentiments dominate their behaviours and conducts. IN such cases, CBT nourishes you to identify and amend hazardous behaviours and thought processes that contribute to your anxiety.

Anesthetics: To mitigate some of your anxiety and panic syndromes, professionals recommend analgesics, for instance, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and anti-anxiety drugs identified as benzodiazepines.

The debilitating worrisome thoughts before the arrival of a most awaited future event or prior to completing some primary task will let you indulge more in pessimistic thoughts and directly impact your effective performance and accomplishments. In the words of Gonzelez-Berrios, anticipatory anxiety can be a consequence of doubt and distress about failure in some upcoming task or activity. 

The catastrophic predictions about an event put you in harsh and vexing mental conditions causing anomalies in your day-to-day brain functionality and ultimately sidelining your bodily wellness too. When we look at anticipatory anxiety, we can effortlessly explore that it can be characterised by many significant factors and their unique specifications. Given below is a brief detail regarding these primary factors that can aggravate or otherwise cause anticipatory anxiety:

Specific Phobias

This condition is primarily outlined by excessive and irrational perturbation regarding a particular thing or situation, while such a situation often does not portray any danger in reality. Commonly recurring phobias constitute phobias from injection, animals, heights, and flying and are major instigating factors for anticipatory anxiety. 9.1% was the proportion of those adult population that disclosed their phobias a major factor behind their anticipatory anxiety.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder(GAD)

People tackling GAD are more exposed to confronting anticipatory anxiety that comes with the uneasiness and disturbing mental state of mind. Almost in all cases, the fear connected with GAD does not explain its source and occurs with an unknowing cause. Out of the overall population, 3.1% of people reported GAD as their provoking factor for this strain of anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disoder(OCD)

Those encountering anticipatory anxiety side by side with the obsessive-compulsive disorder usually obsess over it while confronting specific fears. The obsessive compulsions of yours can prevent you from activities that can let your anticipatory anxiety go off. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)

Extensive trepidation about the recurrence of some past traumatic event even if the chance of occurrence of that event is very unlikely. Even certain things, places, and smells can be a source to anticipate such feelings of terror and stress.

Eating Disorder

Individuals who avoid eating food due to fear of getting fat in reference to their eating disorder also face instigation in their anticipatory anxiety. One more fear related to this disorder is people’s judgment on their eating if a person gets fat which develops anxiety.

Substance Use Disorder

Many people succumbing to substance use disorder always remain anxious about opening up their habit of substance use disorder; also, those trying to get rid of this habit experience anticipatory anxiety disorder.

On average anticipatory anxiety linger for two months. Still, suppose you try to overlook and undervalue it. In that case, it can perpetuate for even a more extended period and take the form of a chronic condition that will not be overcome without effort. We all know that the brain is the cardinal processing unit that controls and guides all the physical undertakings to work analogically and adequately. 

Any inconsistency in the function of the brain as an out-turn of anticipatory anxiety will culminate into in-orderly working physical processes and dropped out bodily wellness. So you should take the recovery activities and on-time medications as your top-notch priority to hold the repercussions at a baseline.

Suppose your indications of ailment stick to your nerves for an abnormally long interval of time. In that case, you should consciously ponder these indications and immediately seek medical and therapeutic assistance whatever lightens up your way towards a sound mental and bodily well-being and salubrity.


The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


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