Anxiety isn’t just worry and feeling nervous or anxious, it is: Guilt, feeling drained, pessimism, avoidance, shame, compulsive behaviours, intrusive thoughts. Having anxiety and feeling anxious are different. Anxiety is a symptom not a root cause.
Feeling anxiety might mean: Sweating, feeling overwhelmed, being afraid of the unknown, feeling uncomfortable, trying to change something outside of your control or a concern something is changing; It could be a response to perceived danger. It may also present itself as a desire to control people and events, difficulty getting to sleep, feeling agitated or angry, defiance and other challenging behaviours, having high expectations for self (at work or in sports), avoiding activities or work, struggling to pay attention and focus, intolerance of uncertainty, crying and difficulty managing emotions, over planning and or feeling worried for people, situations and events.
Subtle signs of anxiety may include: doubting the goodness or validity of opportunities that come our way, triple checking things ‘just to make sure’, feeling self-conscious about how we look or walk in public, avoiding, forgetting or putting things off, having consistent ‘worse-case scenario’ thoughts and scrolling social media for lengthy periods of time.
Physically anxiety could present itself as: Fatigue, tight throat, an upset stomach, irritable bowels, fidgeting, restless or shaky hands or legs, feeling sick, headaches or light headedness.
Anxiety attacks can include: Intense feelings of fear, doom, foreboding and gloom; A sudden urgency to escape, run away or get out; Fear you may lose control of thoughts and actions; Dizziness, nausea and vomiting; Feeling like you might pass out; Trembling or shakiness; Weakness, or difficulty breathing; Chest pain; Hands and feet feeling numb; Being lightheaded or woozy or having Irrational thoughts.