Spotting the common signs of anxiety and what to do - close up shot of woman looking lonely

Anxiety: How to spot the signs you are anxious and what to do

7th February 2023

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Anxiety is something that many of us are struggling with. Nobody will experience anxiety in the same way. For some of us, it will manifest physically with things like shortness of breath, panic attacks, dizziness, dry mouth and increased heart rate. Other people may experience mental symptoms more frequently such as comparison, self-doubt, intrusive thoughts and depression. Some people know they are anxious, while others may not have made that association just yet. 

So how do you spot the signs that you are anxious, and if you do experience some of the symptoms of anxiety what do you do to help? There is no right or wrong answer here, you have to do what is right for you. But I wanted to share with you some of the common signs that will pinpoint you may be anxious and how you can cope. 

Spotting the common signs of anxiety and what to do

Spotting the common signs of anxiety and what to do - photo of man holding black eyeglasses

Feelings of panic, both physically and mentally 

Do you notice that you panic easily? Maybe you feel that heavy breathing or even shortness of breath when you are under stress. A common example of this would be in the workplace. Or perhaps you overthink and panic about situations before they have even happened. Maybe you have intrusive thoughts regarding a scenario you are yet to face such as a workplace meeting in the future.

Feelings of panic both physically and mentally can manifest at different times and they can be a sign that you are anxious. You may be able to pinpoint what has caused the anxiety, or spot the behaviour trends over time. Panic is not something that will go away easily, and the best way to approach it is to take things one step at a time. Breathing exercises can help calm your mind and body and help you to rationalise your thoughts. 

Feeling nervous 

Do you feel nervous a lot? Nerves are a common sign of anxiety and while on their own may not mean completely you are an anxious person they are a common sign that you may feel anxiety when put into certain situations. For example, before a big presentation at work or meeting someone you haven’t met before. Nerves can have you feeling jittery, questioning your thoughts and actions, and also make you feel nauseous and dizzy. Both of these are other signs that you may be anxious if there is no medical reason for it.

Dealing with nerves isn’t always easy, and some say some nervous energy can be a good thing. If you do feel nervous then a great tip is to focus on your breathing and actually give yourself permission to feel the nerves. Whatever has brought on the nerves will be a big deal in your world and being comfortable with that can calm you down a little. 

Do certain situations make you uncontrollably sweat?

Aside from taking on exercise, sweat is a common sign that you be a little anxious. Have you ever noticed getting sweaty palms or uncontrollably sweating when put under pressure or in certain situations? Then this could be a sign that you are anxious. If you want to bring it under control then you need to find a way to calm yourself. Breathing can help and focus on slowing down your heart rate, which will ultimately slow down the sweating as your body is under pressure and overworking. 

Spotting the common signs of anxiety and what to do - unrecognizable upset lady embracing knees sitting on chair

Feeling weak and tired

Sometimes we can feel weak and tired without there being a reason for it. When our body is in a state of anxiety, whether short term or long term, then it is working extra hard, which often means that you can feel tired and weak. While this is usually a sign that manifests after you have been anxious it is hard to predict when it will occur. But a great tip is to ensure that you take good care of yourself day to day. Regular exercise, a good diet, and staying hydrated can help you to feel less tired and weak, and be strong enough to move forward. 

Trouble concentrating

Are you finding it hard to concentrate on tasks? Especially if you are feeling nervous or stressed about it. Then this can be another sign that you are anxious. Concentration can be lost when your mind is thinking about other things and your body is in a state of survival mode. Concentration can be the first thing to go, which in turn makes you feel more anxious as you try and overcome or work through whatever it is that caused you to feel this way in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you have noticed your concentration is off topic then this is where you need to start questioning your thoughts. Focus on breathing and taking one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much and as you start to move forward you will notice your concentration improving. 

Hopefully, this will help you spot the signs you might be anxious, and help you overcome some of the common symptoms of it.