Do you have anxiety? … or are you just a little nervous? 

Let us get started on how to know whether you have anxiety or not. Of course, before we do that, we will need to begin by describing what anxiety is very quickly. After all, how can you know if you have something when you do not even know what it is right?

Very briefly, anxiety is a non-medical term that refers to a feeling of fear or worry that often relates to a particular issue or concern[1]. It generally occurs when a person fears that something terrible is going to happen. It is sometimes also defined as a feeling of worry and nervousness about something with an uncertain outcome[2].

You need to realize that anxiety is usually a very normal response to stressful life events. These stressful events include a job interview, a first date, moving from your old home into a new home, changing jobs, or having financial trouble[3]. Many people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety only becomes a problem when your anxiety symptoms become worse or larger than the events that triggered them and started affecting your life. It is problematic because the symptoms in such cases could be signs of more severe problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, or other types of mental health concerns[4].

If your anxiety only causes you to worry about something a little, it is a normal response. However, if it forces you to do drastic, extreme, or irrational things, you could have a real problem. The most extreme example of irrational behavior due to anxiety I have ever come across was in a TV show called Rick and Morty. In one episode, Rick, a crazy scientist, decides to turn himself into a pickle because he is depressed and terrified of going for counseling with his family and confronting his feelings. That was his genius way of avoiding all human responsibility, regret, and loss of love. So, his anxiety had him turn himself into a pickle! Imagine that! A pickle!

Of course, this is an extreme example of anxious behavior, but anxiety does cause many people to act in similar ways, though to a lesser degree. Luckily for you, if you continue watching this video, you will not have to turn yourself into a pickle because you will learn how to tell whether you have anxiety and what to do about it. Despite how it may seem, anxiety is usually very manageable.

The best way of knowing whether you have anxiety or not is to look out for anxiety symptoms. Remember that when symptoms of anxiety become excessive and start interfering with your life, it could be a sign that you may have an anxiety disorder. Here is a list of the most common symptoms of anxiety:

Excessive and Irrational fear and worry

The most common symptom of an anxiety disorder is excessive worrying. The worrying associated with anxiety disorders is disproportionate to the events that trigger it. If you are worrying more than usual about situations or events that happen, it may be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder. If you experience worry and apprehension on most days over six months, then consult a health professional because it could be a sign that you may have generalized anxiety disorder[5]. The worrying must also be severe and intrusive, making it difficult to concentrate and accomplish daily tasks[6].

Restlessness

The second symptom of anxiety is restlessness. Restlessness usually occurs in children and teenagers. However, it also occurs in adults. If you are restless, it is a sign that you might be experiencing anxiety. Where you experience restlessness on several days over six months, this may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder as well, so you would need to consult a doctor or health professional[7].

Having trouble falling asleep and insomnia

Anxiety generally causes sleep problems. A person with anxiety will usually have trouble falling asleep or will usually wake up in the middle of the night[8]. If this is happening to you, then you might be experiencing anxiety.

Avoiding Social Situations

Anxiety entails feeling anxious or fearful about upcoming social situations. In this scenario, anxiety causes you to worry that you may be judged or scrutinized by others. It may also cause you to be fearful of being embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. The anxiety may also cause you to avoid certain social events because of these fears[9]. This feeling is quite close to wanting to turn yourself into a pickle so that you avoid other people but to a lesser degree.

Irritability

Anxiety also causes irritability. So, if you are easily annoyed or irritated, there is a good chance that you are experiencing anxiety, especially if you have other symptoms of anxiety[10].

Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty concentrating, especially in daily tasks, is a symptom of anxiety that you also need to look out for[11].

Sadness

People with anxiety tend to experience sadness because of whatever is triggering their anxiety. Therefore, sadness is a symptom to look out for as well when determining whether you have anxiety.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is an attack where you go into a sudden rush of panic. It usually does not have a specific trigger and can happen without anything triggering it. It can be a symptom of panic disorder, which is a diagnosable condition. Panic attacks can happen whether you feel calm or anxious, and they involve physical symptoms and feelings of terror so intense that you fear a total loss of control or imminent death[12]. During a panic attack, you are likely to believe that you are going to die. The attack often occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and lasts between a few minutes and an hour, although the attack’s negative impact may continue even afterward. For more details on the difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks, see my video titled “What Does Anxiety Feel Like?”

Having discussed the main symptoms of anxiety, here is a quick list of some of the physical symptoms of anxiety.

  1. Changes in heart rate: This is a common physical symptom of anxiety. Anxiety causes a change in the heart rate from what is normal. Other physical symptoms of anxiety are.
  2. Nausea
  3. Dry mouth
  4. Tension in the head or neck
  5. Tightness in the throat and difficulty breathing.
  6. Headaches
  7. Sweating
  8. Trembling or shaking
  9. Feeling faint
  10. A pounding heart
  11. Stomach upsets
  12. Dizziness
  13. Frequent urination or diarrhea
  14. Shortness of breath
  15. Muscle tension or twitches

Having discussed the main symptoms of anxiety, here is a quick list of some of the physical symptoms of anxiety.

I am sure by now, it is clear that there are so many symptoms to look out for and that it can be very demanding and nerve-wracking to know whether you have anxiety because of its many symptoms. So here are a few easy questions you can use to determine whether you are experiencing anxiety or not quickly:

  1. Are you always worried, tense, or fearful?
  2. Do you worry or become so anxious that it interferes with your sleep or ability to concentrate?[13]
  3. Does your anxiety interfere with your daily life at work, school, or family responsibilities?
  4. Do you experience repetitive and relentless thoughts that are upsetting and undesirable?
  5. Do you avoid places and daily situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
  6. Do you experience sudden and unexpected attacks of panic that cause your heart to pound?[14]
  7. Do you think your life would be incredible if you were a pickle? Okay, I am kidding on this one.

However, if you said yes to at least 3 out of these questions, then there is a good chance that you have anxiety. However, there is no reason to panic. Mild anxiety can be dealt with by using the following simple self-help remedies:

Managing stress

Managing stress is an effective way of dealing with anxiety. High levels of stress cause anxiety. So, looking at your responsibilities to determine which ones you can turn down, delegate, or give up would be an effective way of dealing with stress[15].

Connecting with other people

Loneliness and isolation can trigger or worsen anxiety. On the other hand, talking about your worries face to face with close friends and family often makes things less overwhelming. Also, share your worries and concerns with someone you trust and care. You can also join a self-help or support group to share your worries and concerns[16].

Practicing relaxation techniques

Frequently practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms. It also makes you more relaxed and balanced emotionally[17].

Eating healthy and exercise regularly.

Eating healthy is a good way of lowering the risk of developing an anxiety disorder, although it is not enough to treat anxiety. Also, exercise is a natural stress remedy and anxiety reliever[18]. So, exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.

Get enough sleep

Not sleeping enough can worsen anxious thoughts and feelings[19]. So try to get at least eight hours of quality sleep every night.

Avoid alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes

Alcohol and nicotine tend to make anxiety worse. Avoiding alcohol and drugs will yield positive results and reduce anxiety[20].

Put a stop to constant worrying

Learn to control your worrying by using techniques to train your mind. It would help if you also learned to accept uncertainty because this significantly reduces worry and increases calmness[21].

If these self-help techniques do not substantially reduce your anxiety, then you should quickly visit your doctor or seek professional help. You can also call Medvesta Hypnosis at (630-974-1800) to ask any questions you may have regarding anxiety.


[1] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307863 (accessed 17/05/2020 at 00:31AM)

[2] https://www.lexico.com/definition/anxiety (accessed 17/05/2020 at 00:37AM)

[3] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms (accessed 17/05/2020 at 16:39PM)

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms

[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#2.-Feeling-Agitated (accessed 18/05/2020 at 04:04AM)

[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#1.-Excessive-Worrying (accessed 21/05/2020 at 02:36AM)

[7] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#3.-Restlessness accessed 18/05/2020 at 03:22)

[8] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#8.-Trouble-Falling-or-Staying-Asleep (accessed 18/05/2020 at 03:3oAM)

[9] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#10.-Avoiding-Social-Situations (accessed 21/05/2020 at 03:02AM)

[10] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#6.-Irritability (accessed 18/05/2020 at 04:18AM)

[11] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#5.-Difficulty-Concentrating

[12] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307863#symptoms accessed 18/05/2020 at 05:38AM)

[13] https://www.psycom.net/anxiety-test  (accessed 22/05/2020 at 02:02AM)

[14] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm (accessed 22/05/2020 at 02:45AM)

[15] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm   accessed 22/05/2020 at 03:48)

[16] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm   accessed 22/05/2020 at 03:52)

[17] https://www.healthline.com/health/panic-attack-vs-anxiety-attack#home-remedies (accessed 22/05/2020 at 03:57AM)

[18] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#Natural-Ways-to-Reduce-Anxiety (accessed 22/05/2020 at 03:32AM)

[19] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm (accessed 23/05/2020 at 04:10AM) 

[20] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961 (accessed 22/05/2020 at 03:30AM)

[21] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm   accessed 22/05/2020 at 03:45)