At its core, anxiety is worrying about something that MIGHT happen. We scan the environment for threats and gauge ourselves to see if we will be able to cope with the threat. When you feel your anxiety, you decide that you can’t cope with the danger and become increasingly anxious. Welcome to the cycle of anxiety.
When we escape or avoid the anxiety by not going to the party or avoiding taking the exam we need to take, we have avoided the situation and decreased our anxiety in the short term. Still, we have contributed to our long-term anxiety.
For most people I know, myself included, anxiety is a normal part of life. We are all going to experience anxiety at some point. The question is how we deal with it. In therapy, I work with clients using a combination of CBT and body-based (somatic) techniques to target not only the mind but also the subconscious causes of anxiety.