Ever wonder where healthy worry crosses over to unhealthy anxiety? Feel yourself wound up at things you don't see others wound up about? Noticing changes in your mood, appetite, outlook on life? It might be time to address what could be anxious feelings that are more than the "good type" of stress. Here are some things to look for:
1. You don't fall asleep easily most nights because your mind is racing with thoughts. This can last for weeks to months to years. You're usually tired when you wake up and may even have a hard time actually getting out of bed and feeling rested/alert the rest of the day. Examples of insomnia thoughts:
- what you haven't done
- what someone else hasn't done
- what's not going well
- what you need to do
- what will go wrong
I've only had a handful of clients who have endorsed "adequate sleep," on their intake paperwork, which tells me that your body isn't getting what it needs to keep you as regulated as possible.
2. Decreased concentration/focus because you are thinking about those 5 bullet points above or more. This can negatively impact your occupational or academic success, relationships, and self-care. You might find yourself making more mistakes, more distractible, or not retaining information. What can come next is frustration and judgment of yourself for these mistakes or needing more time to complete tasks.
3. Inability to calm your anxious thoughts and it begins affecting your relationships negatively. Your tension can create vibes that are difficult for others to be around if it winds them up or exhausts them, too. You may feel more suspicious or impulsive, wanting more from others. Or not being able to adapt or accept not knowing things or having answers immediately.
4. Constant or frequent irritability or restlessness, even if you've had a good night's rest. Restlessness gets in the way of your sleep and keeps you on edge during the day. Things never feel ok, complete, or enough. Irritability can affect your relationships and leave you not feeling so good about yourself.
5. Fatigue. Anxious thoughts are heavy to hold and hard to manage if you don't have effective skills. They weigh down your mind and your body. If you notice feeling more tired, sluggish, revved up at times but then crashing, it may be time to take a better look at how you manage anxiety.
Stay tuned for the next Fast Five - Dr. A