Signs of anxiety

Introduction to Signs Of Anxiety

Anxiety is more common than you might think. This article will outline 11 signs of anxiety. Having one or two of these does not suggest you have an anxiety disorder. However, if you have quite a few and it persists for more than 6 months you may need to see a professional counselor.

The last two signs, avoiding social situations and panic attacks by itself, can signal an anxiety disorder. So if it persists seeing a counselor is recommended. The same goes for any other sign that is severe enough to hinder your day to day function of normal life.

Signs of Anxiety

Signs of Anxiety

Physical symptoms

Some of the main signs of anxiety are physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth, shaky hands, etc. It is normal to experience these symptoms once in a while but, if they occur frequently then you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Excessive Worrying

If you find yourself thinking about all the potential problems you that you may face in the future that is a sign of anxiety. You may also find yourself worried that your loved ones have been in an accident or kidnapped by someone. In a similar fashion, you might find yourself overwhelmed by simple things like a cold because you feel you could have pneumonia. The bottom line is you exaggerate things and worry about the worst possible outcomes happenings.

Irritability

Do the smallest things irritate you? That is also a sign of anxiety. If you can’t stand the sound of water dripping from a tap or your co-worker silently humming a tune you are irritable. Do you get angry at the smallest things like when you have to explain something twice because your stupid co-workers can’t seem to understand you? If these things happen often in your life you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Signs of Anxiety - Irritability
Example for Irritability

Easily fatigued

People who have anxiety often find themselves easily fatigued. If using the stairs to get to the next floor or walking a few blocks makes you tired, it might be a sign of anxiety.

Muscle Tension

Having muscle tension is a lesser-known sign of anxiety. Even though you usually don’t think of muscle pain as a sign of anxiety, but, it is very closely related to anxiety. Not only do people with anxiety often complain about muscle pain, but, also relaxing these muscles has proven to reduce anxiety.

The simple relaxation method, that I talked about in my Blog post on relaxation techniques is a great way to relax and get rid of such muscle pains. It is usually recommended to clients with anxiety by counselors.

Restlessness

If you find yourself always on edge that is also a sign of anxiety. Most likely this symptom is related to the above-mentioned symptom of excessive worrying. You might also find yourself unable to stay in one place like in the movies when the hero is worried and keeps walking back and forth waiting for a loved one to return.

Sleep Disturbances

Whether you have trouble falling asleep or you keep waking up every 2 hours doesn’t really matter. Both of these sleep Disturbances are common signs of anxiety.

Difficulty Concentrating

Being unable to concentrate is a sign of anxiety. If you find yourself reading the same paragraph in a book over and over again, but, still can’t understand anything, you are probably anxious. You might also find it hard to do things that require concentration, such as doing a jigsaw puzzle or painting a picture.

Problems with short term memory

Have you ever gone into a room to do something and then completely forgot what you came to do? Well, that is a sign of anxiety. If you suddenly forgot something simple and obvious like the name of your co-worker who you practically see and talk to every day then you may have anxiety.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack can be seen as an extreme reaction to anxiety. Usually, people report feeling a sudden Overwhelming fear followed by other symptoms such as increased heart rate, shaking, dry mouth, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and nausea. You might even feel like you are going to die. Usually, when a panic attack hits, you lose control. Sometimes you may freeze not knowing what to do. Some people end up fainting as well.

This can be a reaction to a certain thing like a rat. In this case, you have a phobia of rats. Seeing a rat or maybe even remembering one can trigger a panic attack. Sometimes panic attacks happen without a link to something. In this case, you may be suffering from Panic disorder.

Avoiding social situations

Avoiding social situations is a sign of social phobia. In this case, you may actively try to avoid social situations by making excuses to not go somewhere. In extreme cases even thinking about going somewhere can cause you to get sick and you end up naturally avoiding such situations. If such signs persist for more than 6 months you are advised to see a counselor.

Signs of Anxiety - Avoiding people, places or Situations
Signs of Anxiety – Avoiding people, places or Situations

Helpful Tips

  1. See a professional counselor
  2. Practice Relaxation Techniques. See Relaxation Techniques
  3. Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep
  4. Write your thoughts and fears down in a Journal: see Journaling for  Mental Health
  5. Go for a walk outside.
  6. Exercise: How to get moving to relieve anxiety

3 thoughts on “Signs of anxiety”

  1. Victoria veltre

    Great post! very informative – also tying into your last picture, not only do people make excuses I feel like when people have anxiety, it can cause them to get sick, because worrying / anxiety can cause stress, and then stress lowers the immune system (one big ripple effect). Felt that picture could work for that example too!

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