anxiety signs and symptoms

6 signs to watch out for if you have anxiety

Though every case of anxiety is different, there are signs that can help you figure if you are experiencing anxiety that is severe or if it is just temporary in nature.
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There was a time when talking about ‘not feeling up to it’ or anxiety was a taboo. In fact, everything related to your mental health was considered to be absolute hush-hush. For all that hurt physically, like a backache or fever, people would consult an expert. It has always been the norm to treat such maladies with urgency. But when it comes to mental health, the common myth is that it will heal with time. The truth is, mental wellbeing needs constant attention and issues relating to it should not be ignored.

Anxiety is the most common mental health condition, where the symptoms show externally and affect internally as well. Imagine this – sweaty palms right before an examination? Stressed out before a big party or gathering? Well, you are not alone. People across the world experience some kind of anxiety everyday.

Fortunately, most of it is temporary in nature. In fact, worrying about things like health, finances, studies occur to everyone from time to time. These thoughts ebb with the resolution of the problem at hand in majority of the cases.

However, anxiety disorders are different from these temporary periods of stress. Several types of anxiety disorders have been identified globally and each requires different levels of attention. Some people suffer from more than one type of anxiety, while others have anxiety combined with other disorders like OCD or depression. Though every case of anxiety is different, there are signs that can help you figure if you are experiencing anxiety that is severe or if it is just temporary in nature.

Our list of anxiety symptoms will help you identify and seek help in your mission to beat anxiety.

Excessive worrying

While we all go from some amount of fear and stress everytime we are posed with a problem, there are some of us who experience it excessively. It is not the usual thinking aloud kind of worrying. Instead, the reaction to the stress is often out of proportion, edging towards doomsday for some. A feeling of being on the edge is also common.

So if you find yourself obsessively thinking different negative outcomes to a pending issue or losing peace and rest overthinking it, consider it a sign that you may have anxiety.

Panic and fear

Many people are known to have panic attacks the minute they receive bad news or experience something really unpleasant.

Panic attacks are a usual affliction of anxiety for some. Panic attacks are sudden and can be identified through issues like nausea, breathing difficulties and shaking. They can be very overwhelming and threaten to overwhelm your entire day, if not dealt with time-tested techniques like deep breathing.

Helplessness

While anxiety is primarily a way your body reacts to stress, sometimes feelings of helplessness come along with anxiety preventing you from living a healthy daily life.

Ask yourself if issues that befall you have a huge effect on your mental wellbeing almost instantly? Are you able to tell how big or small a problem is and still feel helpless towards dealing with it? If your response is yes, then you may be suffering from anxiety.

A good way to understand your situation is by observing your friends and family who are in the same situation. If you find them calmer than you are, chances are you are dealing with an episode of anxiety, where helplessness has gripped you.

Fortunately, shared experiences help a lot in improving mental health and several celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Kristen Bell  have shared their own experiences with anxiety, hoping it will inspire others to get help.

Heart palpitations

Do you find your heart beating really fast when faced with a worry or bad situation? If your heart flutters or pounds suddenly after you encounter a dilemma, it is a giveaway to your anxiety within.

Heart palpitations come along with anxiety for many of us. This is because anxiety sets off the fight or flight response internally, when we are beset with trouble. This response is a part of our autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the heart rate increases when ANS gets activated.

Do observe if the heart palpitations start right after an anxiety-inducing situation, to make sure such an increased heart rate is caused by anxiety and not by another serious health issue.

Remember, such anxiety-related pounding or fluttering of the heart goes away within a few minutes and can be identified by their sudden start and end.

Sleeping problems

Do you find yourself wide-eyed and worried on nights before a big exam or an interview? Does your dear one being unwell rob you off your sleep? Do you toss and turn on the bed too much, no matter how busy or light your schedule? Many a times, anxiety manifests itself into sleeping trouble.

Worry, fear and unease are all potential symptoms of having anxiety and these very things often erode sleep or keep you awake. A deficit of sleep then leads to both emotional and physical problems, triggering further anxiety.

So it is a vicious cycle where anxiety causes sleep distress and lack of proper sleep increases anxiety that needs to be addressed.

Interestingly, a study has found that when someone stays in mental hyper arousal or a state of constant worry, they tend to suffer from insomnia. Thus, while sleep issues may have other origins, anxiety is one of the leading factors. Getting shut eye is thus imperative to keeping anxiety at bay.

Fatigue

During the lockdown and curfew period of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people reported an increase in anxiety levels. What was occasional worry became a regular issue for many. Imagine attending online meetings, completing work on deadlines while helping kids with their online classes. Add to that, all the household chores and the constant worry of an unpredictable virus and disease at its peak. Obviously, a state of worry and fatigue from extremely long days engulfed many of us.

However, you can identify anxiety on a more frequent level if, fatigue doesn’t leave the body after a good night’s sleep or a large cup of coffee. Experts believe that anxiety pushes our sympathetic nervous system to an extent where things like heart rate and muscle tension increases, releasing toxins in the body. These toxins cause inflammation and keep us feeling exhausted for much longer than usual.

As most people who suffer from anxiety will confirm, being in a state of worry or high-alert shows itself in a number of physical ways. While an occasional bout of worry is not concerning, identifying symptoms of anxiety that trouble you frequently will go a long way in diagnosing and improving your mental health.

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