Top 5 Signs You Have Anxiety

You’ve noticed it’s getting worse…the sleepless nights, the constant stress, the tension headaches, but is it time to take action? If you are looking for anxiety therapy in Moorpark, then reach out to our experienced professional at Simi Psychological Group. Our expert team offers personalized treatment plans designed to address your unique needs, fostering resilience, and promoting mental well-being through evidence-based strategies and compassionate care.

In the meantime, we’re here to offer some insight into what anxiety looks like and how it can show up in your life. While feeling overwhelmed, worrying about things, or getting anxious are all very common experiences, there comes a point when that worry crosses a line and anxiety starts to interfere with your ability to get through the day. Here we explore 5 telltale signs that you have anxiety.

1. Uncontrolled Worry and Overthinking:

These are typical indications of anxiety, and they can show up in a variety of ways.

The “what if” woes:

Constant worry and overthinking can manifest as the “what ifs.” If you find yourself frequently trapped in a cycle of “what if” scenarios, imagining and anticipating the worst possible outcomes in various aspects of your life, this may indicate anxiety. This constant state of apprehension is exhausting, stressful, and robs you of your peace.

Difficulty controlling thoughts:

Those with anxiety have trouble controlling their thoughts. Often one small worry turns into an entire “thought spiral,” with an overwhelming stream of anxious predictions, exaggerated fears, and never ending negative beliefs. The fear of failing a test, for instance, can spiral into failing the class, flunking out of school, and so on. 

These thoughts can be about anything and everything, but however they show up, the inability to rein them in can contribute to a sense of helplessness and intensify feelings of anxiety.

Fear of something bad happening:

Are you always waiting for the shoe to drop? If things seem too good to be true, are you waiting for something bad to happen? This could be your irrational fears, worry, and anxiety taking hold.

Constant feelings of stress:

a person biting a pencil in her mouth

If you feel chronically overwhelmed and stressed out, anxiety could be to blame. Anxiety is debilitating, emotionally and physically. 

The cumulative effect is one of constant agitation and emotional overwhelm, or stress.

Significant feelings of self-doubt:

Many people with anxiety also deal with persistent self-doubt, judgment, or overwhelm. Are you continuously looking for others to validate that you’re on the right track? Do you obsess over details, often feeling like you don’t measure up to your own or to others’ expectations? If your self-consciousness, self-doubt, or perfectionist tendencies are getting in the way of your daily life, this may be a sign of anxiety.

Therapy for anxiety is intended to help you gain insight into what your body is trying to tell you. Our Simi Valley anxiety therapists are process-oriented and work with you to see the whole picture, as one area of life affects all of the others.

2. Intense Physical Symptoms

The mind-body connection is profound, and anxiety can impact both mental and physical well-being. In addition to emotional distress, anxiety can show physically in a number of ways.

Physical Tension:

a person holding glasses to his face

Physical tension, muscle stiffness, and tension headaches are common physical symptoms of anxiety. 

Increased Heart Rate and Breathing:

Anxiety often activates the body’s “fight or flight” response, leading to physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and rapid breathing. 

These physiological responses are the body’s way of preparing for a perceived threat, even if the threat is primarily psychological.

Digestive Distress:

Research shows a significant connection between the brain and the gut, so it’s not surprising that anxiety can manifest in the digestive system. When symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, acid reflux, constipation, or irritable bowels don’t have a clear medical explanation, it may indicate anxiety. If you’re always nervous and anxious, it can wreak havoc on your digestive system. 

Sweating and Trembling:

Profuse sweating, trembling, or shivering can be physical manifestations of anxiety. These symptoms often occur in situations that trigger heightened nervousness or social anxiety.  Your body’s attempt to regulate temperature and manage stress can result in these noticeable physical reactions.

Panic attacks

The ultimate physical manifestation of anxiety is a panic attack. Panic attacks are scary. It may feel like you’re having a heart attack, including tightness in your chest, heart palpitations, sweating, and feeling faint; it may also feel like the walls are closing in on you. Panic attacks are a sign of severe anxiety.

For more specifics about how to manage anxiety in the moment, check out our blog How Can I Calm My Anxiety in the Moment?

3. Sleep Disturbances:

Everyone has trouble sleeping once in a while, but if you can’t remember the last time you slept well, it could be due to anxiety. 

Insomnia or Difficulty Falling Asleep:

Do you toss and turn at night, feeling as if your brain has no “off” switch? Racing thoughts, worries about the future, or a heightened state of alertness can make it challenging for individuals with anxiety to fall asleep or stay asleep. The lack of solid sleep leads to ongoing fatigue, which can exacerbate overall anxiety levels. 

Nightmares or Disturbing Dreams:

Anxiety may also manifest during sleep in the form of nightmares or disturbing dreams. These dreams often reflect underlying fears and concerns, intensifying the emotional toll of anxiety and impacting the quality of sleep.

4. Avoidance Behavior:

a person sitting on the floor

Anxiety can make you moody or easily agitated by simple things that don’t seem to bother other people, and can lead to a desire to isolate and avoid.

Avoiding Triggers:

People with anxiety often try to cope by avoiding things that may feel triggering, such as certain situations, places, or activities. 

While avoidance may provide temporary relief, it can reinforce anxiety over time. 

The more you avoid things, the more that avoidance is “reinforced” as a way to cope, but the anxiety itself is not getting better.

Social Withdrawal:

Social anxiety, a specific form of anxiety, can lead to social withdrawal. Fear of judgment, embarrassment, or rejection may prompt you to avoid social interactions, contributing to isolation and loneliness. Ultimately, this social withdrawal impacts not only your own happiness, but also your relationships with friends and family, and sometimes even job performance.

5. Impaired Concentration and Memory:

Anxiety can interfere with cognitive functions in two primary ways.

Difficulty Concentrating:

If you’re worried all the time, even basic tasks can feel overwhelming.  The constant background noise of worry makes it hard to focus on work, conversations, or daily chores. Difficulty concentrating can be an indication of anxiety.

Memory Impairment:

Anxiety can also impact memory, with individuals experiencing difficulty recalling details or events. This cognitive impairment can further contribute to feelings of frustration and inadequacy, adding an additional layer of stress.

a person sitting in a chair talking to a person

You can read more on anxiety and anxiety therapy in our blog, A Deep Dive into Anxiety Therapy: Your Questions Answered.

Recognizing the signs of anxiety is a crucial step toward seeking support and managing its impact on daily life. From persistent worry and physical symptoms to sleep disturbances, avoidance behavior, and cognitive challenges, anxiety can manifest in various ways. 

It’s essential to remember that anxiety is a common mental health condition, and seeking professional help can provide valuable tools and strategies for coping. Anxiety is treatable, and with the right interventions, individuals can develop coping mechanisms, resilience, and a path toward emotional well-being.

If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety or other mental health concerns, we can help. The qualified professionals at Simi Psychological Group offer treatment for anxiety in Moorpark and other locations. We treat individuals, couples, adults, teens, and children on a wide variety of issues, including depression and trauma

Please contact Simi Psychological Group today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.