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  • Sabrina Trobak

Symptoms of Anxiety


For most people, they don't know what their anxiety looks like until the anxiety is really high, maybe 8, 9, 10 out of 10. There are some problems with this. One, by the time the anxiety is at an 8, 9,10 out of 10, it take a long time and a lot of effort to bring the anxiety back down. The second problem with this is, if people don't know what anxiety looks like until it is an 8, 9 or 10 out of 10, they are not going to do anything about it until it is already really high.


In order to better manage anxiety, people need to gain an understanding of what anxiety looks like as it is increasing. If people can put strategies in place to address the anxiety when it is a 3, 4, 5, 6 out of 10, it doesn't have to go to the higher levels of anxiety.


The tricky part of this is, everyone's anxiety can look different. There are many symptoms of anxiety but each person experiences their own symptoms of anxiety and each person's symptoms can occur at different levels of anxiety as well. For example one person may get sweaty palms when his anxiety is around a 3 or 4, but another person may get sweaty palms when her anxiety is at an 7 or 8. So each person can have different symptoms and the symptoms can also vary depending on the intensity of the anxiety.


Symptoms of anxiety generally appear in 3 areas, physical symptoms, mental symptoms, behavioral symptoms. Below is a list of different symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms can be at a 1 or a 10 or anywhere in between. The symptoms can also be for other things, so it is important to think about if the symptom is related to anxiety. For example, rapid heart beat is on the list. If you only get a rapid heart beat when you are running, then it is likely not related to anxiety.


Physical Symptoms of Anxiety


rapid heart beat

shortness of breath

shallow breathing

loss of breath

holding breath

gasping for breath

clenched fist

clenched jaw

grinding teeth

tight shoulders

tight back/neck

feeling very hot or very cold

shaking/trembling

numbness

tingling

headache

feeling detached from one’s self

stomach problems (IBS, ulcers, indigestion etc)

tight chest

sweating

weak in the knees

knot in stomach

stomach drop

dry mouth

lump in throat

metal taste in back of mouth

crying

fidgeting

fatigue

paranoid

itchy

light headed

hyper

eye twitch

poor circulation



Mental Symptoms of Anxiety


Angry thoughts

Negative thoughts

Pessimistic thoughts

Critical thoughts

Thoughts of potential threats

Thoughts of being trapped or cornered

Worry thoughts

Constant thoughts

Catastrophizing

Judgement

Self doubt

Obsessing

Easily distracted

Disoriented

“I don’t know”

shutting down/blank

cannot slow down thoughts

shameful thoughts

rigid thinking/stubborn thinking

questioning/self doubt

indecisiveness

can’t focus

fear

insecure

unsure

repetitive thoughts

worrying about things beyond your abilities (earthquakes, global warming)

forgetful

controlling thoughts

compulsive thoughts (counting, checking, timing etc)

dreams of chasing, falling, teeth falling out



Behavioural Symptoms of Anxiety


Avoidance

Arguing, anger rage

Physical fighting

Throwing things

Not eating

Moody

Trouble sleeping

anger

Yelling

Isolating self or needing to constantly be with others

Binge eating, drinking, drugs

Feeling physical pain, feeling “sick”

Hard time focused

Difficulty completing a task from start to finish

Depression

Inability to understand others

Nail chewing

Lack of interest in sex or overly sexual

Pacing

Running away from things (physically, emotionally or mentally)

Controlling

Manipulating

Rigid in beliefs (my way or highway)

Marijuana smoking

Cigarette smoking

Blaming

Excusing

Denying

Justifying

Gambling

Purging

Cleaning

Organizing

Planning

List making

Checking things

Counting things

Seeking attention (center of attention)

Drinking coffee

Leg shaking/bouncing up and down

Foot tapping

Getting things done quickly

Talking quickly

Not talking much at all

Stuttering

Using large words/high educational words/catch phrases

Avoiding eye contact

Playing with hair

Chewing hair

Picking at skin

Pulling hair/eyebrows/eyelashes

Cutting

Self harming behaviors

gossiping

Humor

Sarcasm

Putting other down

Chewing on things (toothpicks, gum, candies etc)

Biting lip

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