Anxiety is something that most of us have to deal with often. It has a great influence on our lives, decreasing our health and reducing our quality of life. This psychophysiological response is triggered by certain stimuli , learning to identify it is the first step to reduce its impact on our health. In this article we will review the characteristic signs that inform you that you are suffering from anxiety.
This type of response that our body produces under certain circumstances, is increasingly common. We are getting used to living with anxiety , and worst of all, we are not aware of its impact on our lives. This alteration is present in a multitude of psychopathologies, and has a great destructive influence on our immune system , thus contributing to the development of autoimmune diseases.
Many factors contribute to the anxiety response, which are what we must take into account for its prevention. The rhythm of life that we lead, the demands and the excess of stimuli that we have to deal with every day are continuous triggers of anxiety. It is important to recognize when we have anxiety, to somehow try to control and reduce it, before we make it a habit. Let’s see below how you can tell if you have anxiety .
What is anxiety?
First of all we have to know what anxiety is, what this response of our body consists of, and how it is produced.
We immediately associate anxiety with negative aspects, however, it is important to know that anxiety is a natural response of our body . It is present in all people, since it is, in principle, an adaptive reaction.
It acts as a survival alarm reaction, to inform us of something that is happening and what we should pay attention to . It alerts us to dangerous situations or situations that are threatening to us.
It involves a reaction of physiological arousal , that our nervous system , autonomic nervous system and engine show us through certain signs that a danger exists. That is why our body is the first that gives us great information about how we are. Our body speaks, learning to listen to it can give us a lot of relevant information about ourselves.
Anxiety, generally, we live it as an unpleasant experience, it usually appears in an intense way before the situation we live and little by little it decreases, under normal conditions. When does it really hurt us? The anxiety response harms us when it increases in intensity and becomes an over-activation that is maintained over time, this is how chronic stress also appears .
How does anxiety work?
Anxiety, in its adaptive response aspect, simply activates our body so that we actively attend to the challenge that is presented to us . An exam, a job interview, a sports test, a date, etc. There are many situations in which the anxiety response is necessary, since thanks to it we generate sufficient resources that allow us to face the relevant situation that is presented to us.
But of course, this answer also has its maladaptive part , which has to do with the way we think, care for ourselves, take care of ourselves and perceive the world around us. We know that there is no greater enemy than ourselves, and what in principle is an adaptive response, we can turn it into an over-activation that seriously harms us.
Our way of life generates very unhealthy habits . We are always so immersed in other tasks that we forget even ourselves. By neglecting ourselves we are stopping listening to our body and what we need. Rest, sleep well, eat properly and exercise is something that, although we know it is important and necessary, we give priority to other more urgent issues for us.
This lack of attention is often the alarm response that our body gives that manifests itself through anxiety, to alert us that we are not giving priority to our health. Do you really think that with an anxiolytic you will solve this question? In addition, we maintain this response and chronify it thanks to the fact that we try to cover up what is fundamental, which is what is causing us discomfort. We cover the alarm response without giving a solution to what is causing it …
Anxiety is how it finally settles in our lives, when we are not taking care of it properly. The responses of our autonomic nervous system get out of control, causing an increase in heart rate, breathing difficulties and excessive sweating. This response in turn, if we are not informed of what anxiety is, can cause fear and even panic . This increases the physiological responses even more, resulting in a circular reaction. In which we are hardly going to get out of there without medical help.
Does anxiety occur in the same way in all people?
This anxiety response that we have talked about, which behaves in a maladaptive way, its intensity is not the same for all people . The intensity of this response is also associated with the personality, way of thinking and temperament of each individual.
We know that different people will react and perceive the same situation in a different way . There are people who are more likely to worry or give responses with greater over-activation. Others, on the other hand, are more rational and perceive themselves with more resources when facing their difficulties.
In short, we could say that not all people tend to generate high anxiety responses . The physiological responses that occur in one individual and another are different. Also, everyday problems and worries, which are what tend to increase physiological responses in general; they are perceived in a different way depending on each person.
But, how do you know if you are suffering from anxiety, if it is affecting you in your day to day or not? Let’s see what are the main characteristics that you should attend to to know if you are suffering from anxiety:
Repetitive and constant body movements
This is an easily visible sign, especially to others. It is a clear behavior that indicates that you are going through a state of nervousness. When the movements are constant and unconscious: such as touching one’s hair, going from one place to another, repetitive movements with the legs or hands, etc. In these cases, anxiety may be manifesting itself and body agitation is one of the symptoms .
Lately you can’t relax
Being with anxiety is the opposite state to being relaxed, if you are going through an anxiety crisis you can hardly relax . You can check it if you usually try it but do not last long relaxed. This is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety, manifested in muscle aches, inattention, and fatigue.
Not being able to relax implies not getting to sleep well, not resting properly and remaining in a state of alteration in which you end up exhausted both physically and mentally . Under these circumstances, sport, yoga or even tai chi is highly recommended, since they are practices that help you concentrate and eliminate the tensions that you have accumulated.
If you are more irritable than usual
The state of anxiety also manifests itself through your character . If you find yourself in a state of alert in which at the slightest thing you are told, you jump defending yourself or accusing yourself, surely anxiety has taken hold of you. In this state, disgust, anger and conflicts increase because you are in a worse mood and that influences all your personal relationships.
Something that is usually done in these cases to counteract this state of irritability is laughter therapy . This therapy is used so that you discharge all your discomfort, aggressiveness and anger, so that you also learn to see things differently by relaxing your body and thus releasing your bad energy.
You get overwhelmed by medium and long-term plans
If you are going through a state of anxiety, you can easily see that when you set a date to carry out an activity, meet someone, situations such as a job interview, an exam, etc. If all these situations make you anxious a long time in advance and cause you overwhelm , it is probably because of the state in which you are of anxiety.
When anxiety appears, you try to anticipate plans and situations . Anticipation of the future is one of the most obvious conditions with which anxiety manifests itself. Since it prevents you from living in the present, the moment that is happening in your life.
When your concern for things is excessive
This is another of the characteristics of anxiety, excessive worry about the situations you are experiencing. When you find yourself with greater alertness, you also amplify your perception of things , and this inevitably leads you to consider many situations as dangerous.
This also results in the thoughts becoming more recurrent and you end up imagining many things that have nothing to do with reality. Any circumstance, whether favorable or unfavorable, becomes a problem, so you can hardly find yourself in peace and calm.
Practices such as meditation and mindfulness can help you calm your mind, focus on what is truly important and that you can control those thoughts that generate greater anxiety.
Physical symptoms of anxiety
Previously we have reviewed the most obvious behavioral and psychological symptoms when you are in a state of anxiety. To know if you have anxiety, you can check it through the indications we have given you, but there are also some signs at a physical level that it is important to observe . Anxiety triggers these types of physical symptoms in your body, as indicated by the world health organization (WHO):
- Eye strain
- Muscle tension
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Excessive sweating
- Psychomotor agitation and restlessness
- Tachycardia and increased blood pressure
All of these are some of the most characteristic physiological signs of anxiety. The severity of your diagnosis depends on the duration and intensity of some of these signs.
As we can see, anxiety can occur in any part of the body. Although it is related to a psychological state, its physical manifestations can be very evident. Many psychosomatic disorders and illnesses are produced by maintaining this state for a long period of time with high intensity. So it is convenient to observe the signs that you are suffering from anxiety, to be able to give you a solution as soon as possible. Living with anxiety can even lead to serious psychological disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, specific phobias, and life-threatening anxiety attacks.
In the same way, there are already established diseases that worsen with anxiety symptoms such as: asthma , allergy, dermatitis and various skin diseases, diabetes , high blood pressure , hypothyroidism, migraine , glaucoma , primary infertility, etc.
These physical symptoms of anxiety are of great relevance, since they pose a fundamental problem in the life of any person. Acting on time is the best way to prevent and solve a health problem that has already been established. Given these symptoms, it is essential to see a doctor to carry out a specific treatment and be the one to recommend if you also need psychological therapy. Letting go of such a situation usually leads to a low quality of life, low productivity at work, and difficult social and family life.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.