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We asked The Mighty’s mental health community to share something they do that actually means, “I’m anxious.”


“I cannot express myself. I can’t find the words. They don’t come out in the right order and I can’t process what people are telling me.”

“I have an attitude out of nowhere and can be really short with people – even though it’s not their fault.”

“I question every little thing and no amount of reassurance will convince me the people in my life don’t hate me.”

“Sometimes I say things I don’t mean because I feel like I’m in a fight-or-flight situation.”

“When I get anxious and I have nothing to distract me, I pick at my fingernails.”

“I stutter and slur my speech. My speech goes downhill the second my anxiety kicks in.”

“I joke around with people or compliment complete strangers. I just try to put a smile on someone’s face and it helps me smile.”

“I rock back and forth. It’s been a soothing mechanism since I was a child.”

“I get quiet and go on my phone. I’m often accused of being rude in these situations, but I’m just trying to distract my brain.”

Sometimes anxiety “comes out” in ways we wouldn’t expect.

Behaviors that don’t outwardly scream “I’m anxious” could mean just that.

If you’re anxiety comes out in this way, you’re not alone.

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