I often get asked how do I know I have anxiety and it’s not normal worry or stress? Because we all know there are times in our lives where we can feel worried and stressed about lots of situations. However, the difference is that anxiety is a persistent worry, stress, fear or nervousness. Lots of people feel anxious at some point in their lives when facing stressful situations and it can be a natural response that we feel we are in some sort of danger because of this stressful situation. However, if these continuous feelings of anxiety impact your day-to-day life, then you may have an anxiety disorder.
Another way of describing anxiety is that it is the feeling you get when you have a worry that you can’t get out of your mind. This worry becomes part of your everyday thoughts and you begin overthinking it so you do not have time to think about other things. Or you may be feeling anxious that something bad will happen to you or your loved ones or perhaps you have a fear of something and cannot stop worrying about that fear. Sometimes you may not even be able to explain why you are feeling the anxiety.
Looking out for these signs can determine if anxiety is a problem.
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Difficulty relaxing
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Experiencing intrusive, unwanted thoughts or images that you struggle to get out of your head
- Worrying about practically everything
- Becoming easily annoyed or irritable
It’s quite astonishing to think how many different sensations can be triggered by anxiety and how different parts of the body can be affected. Here is a list of the most common bodily sensations:
- Your heart may beat faster or harder
- You may experience excessive sweating
- Your chest may feel tight or painful
- You may have blurry vision
- You may have a dry mouth
- You may experience icy cold or sweaty hands or feet
- You may experience shaky or trembling of the arms and legs
- You may have churning or fluttering stomach
- You may feel nauseous or even vomit
- You may have a horrible headache
- You may feel dizzy, light-headed or faint
- You may feel tense, restless or unable to relax
The 3 F’s
What are the 3 F’s? It’s normal to experience anxiety when we feel like we are in danger and your body will automatically respond with one of the 3 F’s; Fight, Flight or Freeze option. Are you aware which one of the F’s you experience in situations like this?
Anxiety is such a big topic, that I will be covering different sub topics around this subject over the next few blogs, so keep an eye out for them!