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What Happens When I Feel Immobilized by My Anxiety

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When I can’t quickly pull myself out of a funk, it escalates and the physical symptoms of my anxiety often become debilitating. I know these symptoms would go away if I could simply put a stop to my anxiety, but sometimes I can’t. When my anxiety affects me physically, my stomach churns, my head pounds and my muscles tense. I’m continually on edge — like I’m waiting for something to jump out and attack me. My breathing becomes shallow and I start yawning a lot because I can’t properly catch my breath. I feel groggy, tired and I’m in a daze where I can’t see clearly. It’s awful not to feel like yourself, like something has taken over that you just can’t shake.

The worst physical part of my anxiety is that I often feel immobilized. I get so overwhelmed that I can’t physically get myself moving. I’ll often sit on the couch and appear like I’m watching TV, but I’m not actually processing anything that’s happening. I’m just stuck there lost in my anxious thoughts and I have a hard time getting myself to do anything. I know deep down if I just got up to do something I enjoy, I’d feel a lot better.

This is all easier said than done though. It’s so effortless for me to just wallow in my anxiety, the hard part is actually doing something about it. I’ve made an effort to become aware of these symptoms and it has helped me realize when I am feeling anxious so I can cope. I know now that when I feel these physical symptoms, it means my anxiety is most likely the cause and I can take steps to assess why I’m feeling anxious and reassure myself so I can move forward.

Coping is a process — just keep working at it because there’s no right way to deal with anxiety. When you feel physical symptoms, take them as a warning sign that your body is trying to tell you tell you something. Assess what’s bothering you and go do something you love that will lighten your anxiety. As difficult as it may seem in the moment, taking that first step is the hardest part, but as you gain momentum, it gets easier.

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Thinkstock photo via alexandralarina.

Originally published: August 17, 2017
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