A person looking out for symptoms of anxiety syndrome

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Having occasional anxiety due to a specific situation is part of regular life.  

However, if you have anxiety syndrome, you can manage your symptoms through effective skills and long-term strategies.  

Anxiety is our body’s response to fear and a way to urge us to safety. Hence, this feeling can be very useful in identifying danger or threat.  

Most people may also use the term ‘anxiety syndrome’ to refer to stress, worry, overthinking, or nervousness.  

However, there’s a clear difference between being anxious and having anxiety syndrome, the latter of which may include severe and crippling symptoms. 

In this article, we share 4 skills to help you cope with anxiety and 5 long-term strategies to address and treat the condition.  

What Is an Anxiety Syndrome

An anxiety syndrome, or an anxiety disorder, is a psychological condition characterised by excessive fear, panic, worry, and dread.  

Other symptoms could include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shivers or chills, restlessness, poor concentration, lack of decision-making skills, trouble breathing, and a pounding headache.  

If left untreated, the signs can worsen over time and affect a person’s day-to-day functioning, relationships, and work/academic performance.  

An anxiety syndrome can be caused by a medical problem such as thyroid, a history of trauma or abuse, certain medications, or other social and environmental factors.  

Anxiety is usually disproportionate to the situation. For example, a situation like taking an exam is not inherently dangerous to students.  

However, students with anxiety syndrome may panic before the exam and think that they may fail the test.  

The condition is also associated with avoidance behaviour, where a person may avoid situations or people due to their fears.  

The different types of anxiety syndrome include generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, post-trauma stress, and phobias.  

A person struggling to cope with anxiety syndrome

Common Symptoms of an Anxiety Syndrome

Symptoms of anxiety syndrome can affect your daily activities and routine. Hence, it is important to identify the signs and seek professional therapy to prevent the condition from worsening. 

You should consider seeking therapy if you notice that your anxiety is affecting your relationships (eg doubting if your partner truly loves you), family bonds (eg feeling like your mom hates you for no reason), and work life.  

Your counsellor in Singapore can help you analyse what type of anxiety disorder you may have and how to best manage it.  

Some common symptoms of an anxiety syndrome may include: 

  • Feeling nervous and dread 
  • Feeling helpless  
  • Constantly anticipating danger or doom, even when things are okay 
  • Hyperventilation 
  • Preoccupation with your anxiety 
  • Feelings of guilt and shame 
  • Thoughts of death or self-harm 

4 Essential Skills to Cope With an Anxiety Syndrome

If your anxiety syndrome gets in the way of your healthy routines, life, and relationships – you may want to learn certain skills to manage and control the symptoms.  

Sometimes, anxiety can occur due to specific situations, like fear of presenting your project in front of your colleagues. During such times, you may notice that the symptoms are short-lived and disappear after the event is over.  

Hence, by learning these 4 essential skills, you can not only manage your symptoms but also prevent them from occurring in the first place.  

1. Observe Your Thought Patterns

Your anxiety usually stems from unhelpful thoughts you may have regarding yourself and the world. 

For example, a person with anxiety syndrome may believe that they are not good enough or not good at anything.  

These negative thoughts directly influence their behaviours during important performances, where they may undermine their ability.  

One way to observe your thought patterns is to challenge yourself to face your fears, fact-check yourself, and see how you can regain control of your emotions.  

If we consider the above example, the person may not have any real facts about their future performance. Their thoughts are based on their assumptions about their capabilities.  

Hence, if you are stuck in a similar situation, you can ask yourself if your thoughts and beliefs are true.  

If it’s true, how can you get the proof? What does your previous performance say about your abilities? Reflecting on these questions can help you face reality for what it truly is, and eventually, you may begin to get rid of your negative thoughts.  

2. Learn Correct Breathing Techniques

Person engaging in breathing exercises to control anxiety syndrome

A common symptom of anxiety syndrome is hyperventilation, where you may struggle to breathe and relax your body.  

Hyperventilation may increase your oxygen levels and reduce the carbon dioxide in your bloodstream. Carbon dioxide is the chemical that helps regulate the body’s reaction to anxiety.  

By learning the right breathing skills, you can correct your body’s chemical imbalance and regulate your emotions.  

To do so, try breathing from your diaphragm rather than the chest to reduce hyperventilation. This method allows your belly to expand as you breathe in.  

To check if you are breathing correctly, place one hand on your lower abdomen and the other on your chest.  

Observe your body to see where the maximum movement occurs. If your abdomen moves, you are doing the correct breathing technique. 

If you are having an anxiety attack, you may also want to slow down your breathing.  

As it can be hard to be mindful of our breath during anxiety, try to touch an ice cube or place half a slice of lemon in your mouth to jerk you out of the anxiety episode. 

Learning the correct techniques can help boost carbon dioxide levels in the blood. If you are hesitant to try alone, you can book a session with a Singaporean psychotherapist specialising in mindfulness and ACT 

3. Try Aromatherapy

For some people, aromatherapy can be extremely useful in reducing the symptoms of anxiety syndrome.  

As the research on aromatherapy is limited, we suggest not to use it as a primary intervention or technique.  

However, aromatherapy, along with other skills and coping strategies, can help you improve your overall state of mind.  

Aromatherapy could include essential oil forms, incense, or a scented candle.  

You can try flavours such as lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood, which are known to reduce stress and promote relaxation.  

4. Exercise

Although exercise alone may not completely control the symptoms, it can play an important role in reducing your anxiety in the long term.  

For people with anxiety syndrome, movement becomes very important. Every time you move, your body finds it easier to release the happy chemicals.  

Exercise in any form can burn up stress chemicals and manage your emotions.  

If you are not fond of cardio or strength training, you can take a long walk daily and try dancing, yoga, or other movement-based activities.  

People exercising in the gym to reduce anxiety syndrome symptoms

5 Long-Term Strategies to Deal with an Anxiety Syndrome

If your anxiety syndrome is unmanageable with the tools above, you may want to consider other long-term strategies. 

1. Try Professional Counselling

If you are unsure how to manage your anxiety, Singaporean counsellors can help you: 

  • Better understand your emotions 
  • Identify and address your triggers 
  • Manage and control your feelings 
  • Learn therapeutic skills to deal with anxiety syndrome 
  • Learn effective coping mechanisms 

For example, counsellors may use cognitive behavioural therapy to help you learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-prone situations.  

Research also shows that CBT is an effective intervention to treat most types of anxiety disorders.  

2. Identify and Manage Your Triggers

Similar to observing your thought patterns, learning how to identify and manage your triggers can help you prevent an anxiety attack.  

In most cases, you may need professional guidance from a Therapist to identify your triggers. Some triggers may be obvious, such as exams, presentations, and meeting a stranger.  

However, most triggers may be subtle and indirect. As we are entirely consumed in our anxiety, it can be difficult to analyse how we were triggered. 

For example, a person who had a negative childhood experience such as bullying may feel anxious in social situations or when they’re with their friends.  

This person may not consider their current situation as triggering because they’re with their friends and may consider the environment safe.  

However, a Therapist can help connect the dots between bullying in childhood and having an anxiety attack in a room full of friends.  

Below are some common triggers people with an anxiety syndrome may have: 

  • Work, relationships, or financial stressors 
  • Withdrawal from addiction 
  • Chronic pain 
  • Past trauma 

3. Build a Community

Although everyone is different, and not all your loved ones may understand your condition, building a safe community for yourself can help you in more than one way.  

Socialising can reduce stress, encourage feelings of hope and joy, and decrease isolation and loneliness. 

Even if your friends may not know how to handle the situation, having someone to talk to and seeking their support can be a huge help.  

Research has also shown that being part of a community can help you become mentally resilient to distress in the long run.  

4. Create a Nourishing Morning Routine

Many people with anxiety syndrome may struggle with their mornings, which usually tends to set the tone for the day.  

For example, imagine the difference between waking up at noon and waking up at 9 or 10 a.m. At the former time, you may feel unmotivated and upset about your day.  

However, with the latter, you may have enough time to take care of yourself and engage in self-care habits to start your day positively.  

Morning routines can create a sense of normalcy and control. As you begin to follow the routine every day, you will gain a newfound sense of control over your emotions and habits.  

Waking up at the right time (whatever that time may be for you) and journalling or doing an activity that brings you joy can leave you feeling energised. 

The energy you have in the morning can last throughout the day and help you recharge better every night.  

However, it is important to remember that not every morning will be the same. Sometimes, we may just need to get that extra sleep or roll around in bed for a few hours.  

Remember to take it easy. The only goal to focus on would be to engage in your routine as much as possible, even if it’s not 100%.  

5. Consider Medications

For some people, a combination of medications and therapy may work the best in treating anxiety syndrome.  

Medications are usually short-term and supportive care; hence, your doctor may not use them as a primary intervention.  

Taking meds can help control and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety syndrome.  

Your doctor may provide tranquillisers or antidepressants to help you cope. You may start these medications on a lower dosage and may adjust the dosage and frequency depending on your progress and outcome.  

Remember that medication is optional and may not work for everyone. To understand what kind of therapeutic plan works best for you, try having an open conversation with your Therapist.  

Your Therapist is the right professional to create a personalised treatment plan for you! 


Socialising can reduce stress, encourage feelings of hope and joy, and decrease isolation and loneliness. 

Even if your friends may not know how to handle the situation, having someone to talk to and seeking their support can be a huge help.  

Research has also shown that being part of a community can help you become mentally resilient to distress in the long run.  


Socialising can reduce stress, encourage feelings of hope and joy, and decrease isolation and loneliness. 

Even if your friends may not know how to handle the situation, having someone to talk to and seeking their support can be a huge help.  

Research has also shown that being part of a community can help you become mentally resilient to distress in the long run.  

Book a session with a qualified Therapist today!

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