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by Alana Gregg, MS

To say that we have all struggled with anxiety during a pandemic is an understatement. There is so much that is uncertain about the world. And just when we seem to get our footing the rug gets pulled out from under us again. Sometimes we are all too aware of the anxious feelings or thoughts we have. But then there are times when we aren’t as aware. We know we don’t feel quite right, but we can’t quite put our finger on what it is. Anxiety is tricky to identify because it has many faces. Many people think of anxiety as a panic attack where you can’t breathe or your heart beats extremely fast. While those symptoms are very real, anxiety is actually a large spectrum that can impact our lives in a variety of ways. So how do you know what signs to look for?

Here are 9 things that could be an indication you have anxiety:

1) Anger or irritability- Have you ever snapped at a friend or family member when you were stressed? Most of the time, you didn’t even intend for it to come out that way. But your anxiety set off an anger response because you were overwhelmed by the situation.

2) Easily tired- When your body is in fight or flight mode, it is simply trying to survive which can be exhausting. Be mindful of your energy level because it might be telling you something important.

3) Difficulty concentrating-Anxiety can also cause you to have difficulty concentrating or cause your mind to go blank. Sometimes anxiety is like the static on an old TV. The picture is there but everything is a little fuzzy.

4) Restlessness- You may feel the need to pace back and forth or fidget with your hands or an object. This could also look like being keyed up or on edge. It can make you tense throughout your body which results in exhaustion. This on edge feeling can also make you extra jumpy or easily startled.

5) Sleep issues- Anxiety can make it difficult to sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep, then you may be struggling with anxiety.

6) Racing thoughts-Does your mind race thinking of all the things that could go wrong or ways you could mess up? Your thoughts typically begin with “What if…” It is a downward spiral that can be very difficult to break out of.

7) Indecisiveness-Making decisions can seem like a monumental task because you are worried you will make the wrong decision. No matter what you choose there is a down side and you play out every bad scenario in your head.

8) Tense muscles-Do you find yourself clenching your jaw or your fists or find your chest feels tight? Scan your body throughout the day and keep an eye out for any extra tension.

9) Physical pain- Do you have frequent nausea, headaches, or stomach aches? Our anxiety can create physical pain if it is left untreated for long periods of time.

If any of these things sound familiar to you, then you are probably experiencing more anxiety than you think. Recognizing and naming what you are feeling is the first step to learning to deal with it.

While anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone feels, sometimes it can be debilitating. It can keep us from doing everyday activities. It can get in the way of our relationships. It can rob us of joy.

Anxiety Counseling in Ambler, PA

Our team of expert therapists at Lime Tree Counseling specialize in anxiety counseling. Located in Ambler, PA, we understand that anxiety can keep you feeling trapped and isolated. No one should have to suffer alone. We also offer anxiety counseling online for Pennsylvania residents so you don’t have to wait until the quarantine is lifted. Contact us today to get started. Don’t wait another day to start conquering your anxiety.