Signs of Anxiety (from the serious to the mild + what to do)

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Signs of Anxiety?

A question that I get asked a lot (a LOT) is ‘How do I know if it’s a sign of anxiety – or is it just a normal response to stress’? ‘What are normal levels of worry?’ Lots of people wonder where to draw the line. What are the true signs of anxiety – where you should seek professional help – and what should you just try to get on with?

It all comes down to how much it’s affecting your life. If you get mild or occasional worry or nerves, it’s probably normal. If it’s getting in the way of you enjoying your life and doing things that you want to do, then it’s probably a good idea to get some help, speak to your GP, a therapist and adopt some self-help techniques (BTW there are loads in my book The Anxiety Solution).

If you get a bit worried from time to time, or nervous before something like a presentation – it might not be a sign of an anxiety disorder – but there are still steps you can take to feel calmer and more relaxed.

signs of anxiety

One step you can take is to take this mood assessment questionnaire from the National Health Service in the UK. It will give you an indication as to whether you may have anxiety.  However, if you suspect you have any kind of mental health issues, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.

You might also like to read some other peoples account of what it’s like to have anxiety. This article from The Independent gives some good insights (and mine are featured!) or you could check out the MIND blog for stories and insights from people with anxiety.

Here are some common mental signs of anxiety
– A racing heart – kind of like you’ve just done a 100-metre sprint, only you’re just sitting at your desk, or saying your name in a meeting.
– Finding it hard to concentrate or focus
– Feeling a sense of dread or foreboding
– Uncontrollable worrying that you can’t seem to stop
– Excessively negative thinking
– Feeling on edge or on high alert
– Being more irritable

Physical signs of anxiety – remember – anxiety is as much as physical things as a mental thing!
– A racing heart – kind of like you’ve just done a 100-metre sprint, only you’re just sitting at your desk, or saying your name in a meeting.
– Feeling restless, like you can’t keep still or keep fidgeting
– Feeling exhausted, tired or rundown
– Trouble switching off or sleeping
– Stomach issues such as constipation or diarrhoea
– Feeling dizzy or ‘unreal’
– Shaking like a leaf
–  Mouth drier than the Sahara
– Feeling sick and nauseous
– Having headaches
– Muscle tension
– Tingling in hands and feet

herbal tea anxiety

What to do if you’re showing all (of many) of these signs of anxiety? Speak to someone asap. Please, don’t be ashamed (22% of us feel anxious all or most of the time, according to YouGov)

  • Speak to your GP, a therapist, friend, teacher. It’s always best to get it properly diagnosed by a doctor. Just don’t keep it to yourself.
  • Check out the resources section of Calmer You here
  • Meditation is seriously one of the best techniques for anxiety I know. Find out more here
  • Keep trying things and taking care of yourself. Recovery is absolutely possible.