I was asked for some advice on how to know if what your feeling might be anxiety. Here’s a list to help you, (most of these were big issues in my life when I was anxious).
If you experience many of these you probably have high anxiety.
The good news is that if you have high levels of anxiety you can greatly improve your life by reducing worry and anxiety, things can get much easier for you.
1. How is your sleep? Do you suffer from any of the following: Usually taking a very long time to fall asleep. Waking several times during the night. Waking early and not being able to go back to sleep.
2. Do you experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Pressure to go to the toilet when worrying. On-going pain, constipation, flatulence, or diarrhea?
3. Do you experience absent-mindedness – forgetting simple thing like what you came into a room for, where you left your keys etc.?
4. Are you hyper-vigilant – spotting small detail, quickly summing people up, noticing what might be at risk of being knocked off a table before others do etc.?
5. Worrying about what others think – Are you re-running conversations you’ve had, and worrying whether you were misunderstood or if you got your point across, second guessing your decisions, etc.
6. Are you avoiding trying in case you might fail and thus waste the opportunity – The feeling of ‘If I don’t try I can’t be seen to fail’?
7. Are you avoiding people or situations that make you anxious – such as: particular individuals, going out socially, making appointments, crowds, speaking in public etc.
8. Do you suffer from procrastination – putting off what you want to do or need to do? For example: often watching TV, playing online games or video games, to keep your mind off upcoming tasks. Usually this occurs where any task feels crushing or pressured and you just avoid it even though it’ll be more urgent and more pressure later.
9. Do you have frequent pain or ‘butterflies’ in the belly when worrying or do you find your heart pounding or your chest tightening during everyday situations?
10. Are you often tired or suffering low energy? Very often people with anxiety are tired in the mornings and have energy late at night.
11. Do you catch colds often or take longer than usual to recover from infections etc?
12. Does anger sometimes explode in you from minor things? Are you on a hair trigger for anger?
13. Are you uncomfortable receiving a compliment?
14. Do you become angry or anxious when getting advice, perhaps feeling it is a judgement on you that the deliverer thinks you need it?
15. Do you question what you know, or feel you have to make excuses for everyday stuff? I.E. Starting with ‘You are probably full already but…’, ‘I’m sorry to ask but…’.
16. Are you shy about asking strangers a simple question, such as asking the price of something in a shop, or making a phone call?
17. Do you feel you always have to be right, and then regret some of your actions around that later on?
18. Do you feel under attack in meetings, even feeling you have to clarify your comments when someone agrees with you?
19. Do you find at times that tension is released by shopping, but where you’re unhappy about what you bought later on?
20. When something makes you feel uncomfortable do you get a hot flush or a prickly surge under your hair?
21. Do you clench your jaw or tighten muscles when you concentrate, finding them sore afterwards?
22. Do you start courses but fail to follow through on them?
23. Do you get hugely enthused about something for a short while and can get a lot done, but then find that it is a temporary motivation feeling?
24. Are you easily upset and then keep running the thing which upset you over and over again?
Change is easier than you think.