Recognising chronic fear and distress in your mind and body
Is fear getting in your way?
Is your worry way out of hand?
Anxiety is not uncommon. It isn’t bad. It isn’t abnormal.
The urge to fight or flee a situation is important and useful.
Unless, anxiety rises up unexpectedly or shows up too often.
Anxious thoughts should not rob you of your best life.
Physical responses to anxiety should not steal your comfort and health.
If you think you are experiencing more than a period of unease or situational nervousness, consider the following common mental and physical indicators of an anxiety problem:
Anxiety in Your Head
Persistent Worry: A debilitating sense of danger and dread. Your fears are ever-present, overwhelming, and often unrealistic. No matter how much you are reassured, you still feel unsafe and unprepared for the crisis you are sure is coming.
Unwanted Thoughts: Your focus and peace of mind are constantly interrupted.No matter how much you try, you can’t seem to stop the flood of worrisome thoughts and mental pictures that challenge your everyday functioning. You may find yourself distracted and unfocused. Daydreams and ruminations interfere with your work. Obsessive thoughts or intrusive ideas may frustrate your relationships.
Negative Emotions: You feel irritable, impatient, and insecure. You may notice that you just don’t enjoy life much. All the worry, fear, and nervousness are taking a toll on your mood. Unexpected situations really bother you. Misunderstandings and disagreements with friends and loved ones are more common. A general feeling that you are unable to do life well deflates your self-confidence.
Cyclical Thinking: You’re anxious about being anxious. As you become more aware that your fears are unrealistic or uncontrolled, you may begin to worry more. You may become fearful regarding treatment, worry about how you are perceived, or pay extremely close attention to your symptoms, intensifying your worries all the more.
Anxiety in Your Body
Fidgeting: You can’t sit still.Pacing and nervous, uneasy movement underscore your feelings. It may be difficult to sit at a desk or ride calmly in a car. You feel compelled to move around, shuffle papers, or tap your feet. You have a strong need to releases your nervous energy physically. Quality rest and relaxation may also decline.
Chest trouble: Pain and palpitations exacerbate your worry. You feel like you could be having a heart attack. You may even rush to the emergency room, sure you are having a heart-related episode, only to be assured that anxiety is the root of your racing pulse.
Oxygen Deprivation: You need some air. Shortness of breath and lightheaded disorientation often accompany high levels of anxiety. When you are anxious you may tend to hyperventilate or hold your breath. Either action deprives your brain and body of appropriate amounts of oxygen, leading to dizzy spells and possible numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
Digestive Disturbances: Food and fear don’t mix. Anxiety may wreak havoc on your digestion and diet.Panic and apprehension may be followed by nausea, a strong urge to vomit, and even diarrhea. You might lose your appetite all together. Some people develop chronic issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after prolonged bouts with anxiety.
Chronic anxiety adversely affects the way you live and operate in the world.
To preserve your health, both mental and physical, you may need the help and guidance of a knowledgeable professional.
Reach out to a counselor or therapist soon who can help you regain control.