As a reminder, everyone feels worried or anxious at some point throughout their life. Worry and nervousness are normal, natural, and healthy emotions to feel. Anxiety, however, is what happens when those feelings come and stay too long, then begin to negatively impact your life. This article will review a few different ways to know if you are an anxious person.
Anxiety is getting in the way of life.
Are you saying “No” to life events and social things? Do you call into work because you worry you can’t make it through the day? Have people around you worried that you’re not ok? Are the things you used to enjoy doing before, seem like too much work? If you feel you’re saying no to life and yes to staying home where it is “safer” this may be an indicator you’re struggling with anxiety. Think about what you would LIKE to do each day- for example, you would like to get out of bed at your second alarm (because you snooze through your first). You would like to grab breakfast and get your kiddo ready without anyone melting down. You would like to make it to work on time and not worry about what your co-workers or boss are thinking about you. You would like to have a healthy appetite that feels content when you put good food into it, without rushing to restroom after. These are healthy wants. You are entitled to live a “regular” life- but if anxiety is getting in the way of these basic wants, that could be a cue anxiety is overtaking your life.
Your body is starting to hurt because of the anxiety.
Are you struggling with urinary and bowel problems? Bubble guts? Butterflies in the stomach? Upset stomach? Diarrhea? Anxiety tends to cause problems in the stomach, head, and chest. For example heart racing, migraines, headaches, achy and tired eyes, hands shaking, and the list goes on, could be a side effect of anxiety. While there could be other reasons for this like medical issues, we can’t rule out the mental and emotional impact either. Working with a counselor and your primary care doctor can help.
It’s hard to relax because you feel constantly on edge.
While certain situations may cause anxious responses this isn’t a sustainable physical state. For example, if you slam on your brakes while driving to avoid a car accident, it’s normal to feel a little jittery for the rest of the car ride. However, you should start to feel calm again once you get to your destination and realize you are safe. You aren’t meant to constantly be on edge and overly reactive to things around you. It’s really important to stay aware of your surroundings but when you can’t find it in you to calm down, this could be a problem.
One of the quickest to know if you are an anxious person is to pay attention to the thoughts you’re thinking. Yes, I know, its a very counselor thing to say. But your thoughts will give you insight into anxiety levels. Are you constantly worrying about things that have already happened? About how many minutes or hours a day are you thinking anxious thoughts? For example, worst case scenarios of bad things that could happen in the future? Are you worried about the safety of your loved ones constantly? Is it hard to pay attention to anything else going on around you because you’re constantly worried? Again, worry is normal and healthy. But when it becomes the central focus of your entire day, something is not right and you don’t have to live like that.
If this sounds like you, or someone you know, there is help available. Reach out to us today to talk more about this and how to get that anxiety under control.