Behavioral Symptoms of Anxiety
Consistent feelings of stress take a toll on your mind and your body. As a result, many individuals with anxiety experience behavioral changes as a result of their disorders.
In order to deal with feelings of fear and panic, it is normal for your body to enter into a “fight-or-flight” response to danger. In preparation, your body is flooded with the adrenaline necessary to either fight or run away.
The issue is, when there is no real danger to escape, your body can’t use up this adrenaline. Many people with anxiety will develop nervous habits, as a result.
Nervous habits such as tapping your foot, grinding your teeth, or drumming your fingers across a flat surface may be a symptom of your anxiety. Over a period of time, these movements will begin to eat away at the rush of adrenaline and expend your energy.
Although Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is commonly associated with compulsions, individuals with many different forms of anxiety can experience them.
Whether it be the paranoid double-checking of the locks on your windows and doors, or the overwhelming need to clean every inch of your home, anxiety often involves compulsions at some level.
In the short-term, it might feel like you are helping yourself cope with anxiety by following these compulsions, but in reality, your anxiety may be controlling your actions.
Cognitive Symptoms of Anxiety
These symptoms will interfere with your ability to carry on the actions of your daily life, as cognitive symptoms make it difficult to think beyond the trappings of anxiety.
Many anxious individuals feel as though they are in a near-constant state of worry. In order for worry to be this persistent, it often involves racing thoughts.
Anxiety can make you worry about absolutely everything, creating a continuous list of “What if” situations in your head. One stressor often leads to another, with no solution in sight.
With these panicked thoughts of the future racing through your head, it can be nearly impossible to focus on anything else.
Anxiety disorders can lead many people to obsess over a particular thought or situation, escalating the worry that they are already experiencing with regards to that issue.
It’s likely that obsessing over it will make it seem worse than it actually is, which is how it can be so easy for those with anxiety to stress over issues that others might feel are insignificant.
Tips for Coping With Anxiety Symptoms
No matter what applies to you from the list above, there are plenty of ways that you can manage or cope with your anxiety symptoms.
Get to Know Your Experience
The first step in managing these symptoms is simply to recognize when they appear. Once you become better able to acknowledge their presence, you will be able to control their hold over you.
As you begin to understand the symptoms that are correlated with your experience of anxiety, you’ll be assured that what your feeling is normal.
Acknowledging that heart palpitations are a common physical symptom of your anxiety, for example, may ease that symptom, as you no longer need to jump to the conclusion that you’re having a heart attack.
Avoid Your Triggers
If you know that certain people, events or experiences may trigger your anxiety, do your best to avoid them. By doing so, you are managing your symptoms by minimizing their appearance.
Although it’s important to limit your anxiety triggers, remember to be reasonable. If you have social anxiety, it is not healthy to completely cut yourself off from the outside world and stay inside your apartment.
On the other hand, a loud and crowded rock concert is not an ideal situation as someone with social anxiety. Keep your expectations reasonable and be gentle with yourself.
Be brave, but don’t overdo it. Small wins are still wins, so stay positive!