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5 Common, Not-So-Obvious Signs of Anxiety

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It’s a common time of year for stress and anxiety to become more noticeable. Cramming for final exams, deciding whether to bring your significant other to holiday dinners, dealing with family drama, adjusting to the change in daylight (and outside temperatures)… the list goes on.

You may be well-acquainted with the typical signs of anxiety —worrisome thoughts, restlessness, racing heart— but anxiety can often present itself in other common, but less obvious ways.

Here are five not-so-obvious signs of anxiety:

1. You think people don’t like you or are annoyed with you.

A short text response, seeing friends hanging out on Snapchat, those girls giggling across the room… If these types of situations have you jumping to the conclusion that you’re disliked, you may have anxiety. This type of response can be common with social anxiety, a form of anxiety that occurs in social situations and can lead to fear of judgment and fear of embarrassment.

2. You’re “wired but tired.”

When feeling anxious, your sleep often takes a hit, and it’s common to feel mentally and physically exhausted throughout the day due to your body and mind being in overdrive. Anxiety also causes restlessness and feeling on edge – hence the “wired” feeling. Not only that, but when you’re drained and have a laundry list of things to do, coffee may be one of your go-to beverages throughout the day. Caffeine even further adds to the nerves and restlessness. Sleeplessness, fatigue, trying to compensate by energizing with caffeine, then feeling even more restless . . . feeling “wired but tired” is a common sign of anxiety, especially for college students and young professionals who have a million things on their plate.

3. You feel guilty.

People with anxiety often stress out over things they say or do (or things they don’t say or do). They tend to overanalyze past situations and find fault in themselves. That happy hour you skipped because you were exhausted? That workout you didn’t get to because you were trying to catch up on some much-needed sleep? These situations often lead to self-blame and feelings of guilt.

4. You have a constant feeling of dread.

Anxiety causes that indescribable sinking feeling in your stomach – a feeling that something terrible is about to happen. A feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” It’s an uncomfortable but all-too-common feeling that accompanies anxiety.

5. You feel like you’re “going crazy.”

Have you ever felt so stressed out, anxious, and overwhelmed that you pause and think to yourself, “what’s wrong with me? Is this normal?” Anxiety often makes people feel like they’re losing their minds due to the intrusive, constant racing thoughts and feelings that accompany anxiety.

If any of these less obvious signs of anxiety sound familiar to you, just know these are common (albeit annoying) things that accompany anxiety, and help is out there. Talk to a trusted loved one, or if you think you could use some extra support, consider seeing a counselor who specializes in anxiety. There’s no shame in seeing a professional who can help you through the stuck parts in life. You don’t have to go it alone.

Find out more on the author’s blog.

Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Originally published: January 3, 2019
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