Anxiety. All of us have a certain amount of it in ourselves to function, which is pretty standard. However, when that anxiety starts crippling and restricting you in your life, it becomes a problem that needs to be faced.
As someone who lives with anxiety, I can tell you that it’s not easy to identify it by yourself and it’s usually the crux of the problem. The longer we take to recognise, the harder it becomes to deal with it.
So here are fives to tell if you or someone you know has anxiety:
Being tired is probably the easiest way to tell if you have anxiety. It is common to have restless nights after a long day, but if you’re tired regularly despite sleeping on time or by not even doing much during the day, then you might be exhausted because your body is on high alert. The worries on your mind often force your body to stay in an active fight or flight response state.
We often get distracted one way or another while doing something, but it might be a sign of anxiety if it’s something that you cannot seem to control. For example, despite doing your best to focus on your work, your mind keeps wandering off to something that worries you and elicits negative emotions. And no matter what you do, you cannot seem to push the thoughts aside to focus on the task at hand.
While choosing to be alone might seem like a simple life choice, sometimes there’s a deeper reason for it. If you find that the reason you wish to be alone is to avoid people out of the fear of being scrutinized, or feel like you won’t be able to keep up with them; then you’re experiencing social anxiety.
There is a misconception that anxiety only affects your thoughts and behaviours, but it can affect you physically as well. When your anxiety reaches a certain limit, some people might experience it as panic attacks, freezing or having trouble breathing. Others could experience it in a more subtle way such as body aches, skin problems and digestive dilemmas.
The most common tell for someone with anxiety is change. We all like to do things in a certain way that we are used to, for ease. However, people with anxiety do it because it makes us feel that we have a form of control. That control gives us a sense of comfort that everything is going fine. Hence, when they are forced to adapt to a new change, it can be quite difficult to manage.
These are just some of the signs that can help you identify if you have anxiety, but it’s always better to seek professional help to determine it accurately. The sooner you distinguish your anxiety and embrace it; the easier things will be in the real world.