Exploring Anxiety: What Does It Feel Like Physically, Cognitively, And Emotionally To Have Anxiety?

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious lately? In today’s world, it can be easy to feel like you have too much on your plate or that everything is out of your control. In addition to looking into online anxiety therapy here are some ways anxiety can show up.

But what exactly does anxiety feel like in the moment?

If you’re having trouble putting what you’re experiencing into words, we’ll explore the symptoms of anxiety, including physical signs, cognitive signs, and emotional symptoms our bodies go through when we are anxious.

Live in Washington State and looking for an online anxiety therapy? Book a free consultation to see if Talk. Heal. Thrive. is a fit.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

The physical symptoms of anxiety are some of the most common ways people identify their anxiousness. Your heart may race, your breathing might become shallow and fast, or you may experience stomach pain. Here are 5 common physical signs of anxiety

1. Rapid heartbeat

One of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety is a rapid heartbeat. When you’re anxious, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which causes your heart rate to increase. This can make you feel like your heart is racing or pounding, and it can be accompanied by chest pain or tightness.

2. Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath feels like you can’t catch your breath, and it can be accompanied by chest pain or a feeling of suffocation. It is not the same as the shortness of breath you have when you workout really hard and are out of breath; it can happen as anxious thoughts and feelings grow.

3. Sweating

Anxiety can also cause sweating, which can be particularly noticeable if you’re anxious about something that’s about to happen or something that you are anxious about in your mind.

4. Trembling or Shaking

Anxiety can also cause trembling or shaking, which can be especially noticeable if you’re trying to keep calm in a situation that’s making you anxious.

5. Nausea or Upset Stomach

Anxiety can also cause nausea or an upset stomach. This is often caused by the fight-or-flight response, as well as by stress hormones like cortisol.

Cognitive Symptoms of Anxiety

The cognitive symptoms of anxiety are often harder to recognize than physical symptoms because they are more internalized. People experiencing cognitive symptoms often report intrusive thoughts that cause distress, making it hard for them to focus on tasks at work or school. Additionally, excessive worrying about the future and rumination on past events can be indicators of an underlying anxiety disorder. Here are 5 cognitive symptoms of anxiety.

1. You’re a Perfectionist

One way that cognitive anxiety can manifest is through perfectionism. If you’re constantly striving to be perfect in everything you do, it can lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety. Perfectionism can also lead to procrastination, as you may be afraid to start something unless you know you can do it perfectly.

2. You’re Always Worrying or Ruminating

Another way that cognitive anxiety can manifest is through constant worrying. If you find yourself worrying about things that might happen or dwelling on things that have gone wrong in the past, it can lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety. Worrying can also interfere with your ability to focus on the tasks at hand, as your mind is elsewhere.

3. You’re Constantly Comparing Yourself to Others

If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, it can lead to a feeling of inadequacy and insecurity. This can then lead to anxiety and stress, as you feel like you’re not good enough. Comparisons can also be damaging to your self-esteem, as they can make you feel like you’re not measuring up.

4. You’re Always Seeking Approval

If you’re always seeking approval from others, it can signify low self-confidence and insecurity. This need for approval can lead to anxiety and stress as you worry about what others think of you. It can also damage your relationships as you often look for external approval and validations vs. finding it internally. It can be time to try online anxiety therapy.

5. You Avoid Change

Change can be scary, but avoiding it altogether can lead to even more anxiety and stress.

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety also has emotional components that can manifest in a variety of ways depending on the person’s individual needs and preferences for coping with stressors in their lives. Some people might experience feelings such as fear or dread while others might feel overwhelmed by uncertainty or guilt about things beyond their control. Irritability and mood swings might also be present as well as sadness that isn’t easily explained away by situational factors alone. Here are 5 common emotional symptoms of anxiety.

1. Constant Worrying

One of the most common emotional symptoms of anxiety is constant worrying. People with anxiety often worry about things that are unlikely to happen, or they may worry excessively about everyday problems. This constant worrying can lead to feelings of tension and stress, and it can be difficult to control.

2. Difficulty Concentrating

Another common symptom of anxiety is difficulty concentrating. People with anxiety may find it hard to focus on tasks or they may have a hard time remembering things. This can make it difficult to work or study, and it can lead to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

3. Irritability

Anxiety can also cause irritability, which means feeling easily annoyed or angered. People with anxiety may snap at others over small things, or they may become easily agitated. This irritability can be difficult to control and can cause problems in personal relationships.

4. Sleep Problems

Anxiety can also cause sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. People with anxiety may find that their minds are racing at night, making it hard to relax and get a good night’s rest. This can lead to feeling tired during the day, which can further worsen anxiety symptoms.

5. Feeling restless or on edge

If you have anxiety, you may feel like you can’t sit still or relax. You may feel like you’re always in motion, even when you’re trying to rest. This feeling of restlessness can be accompanied by an inability to concentrate or focus on anything.

Look Into Online Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety affects everyone differently but understanding common signs and symptoms can help you better understand what this mental health issue looks like for yourself or a loved one. If you think that your anxiousness is interfering with your day-to-day life in any way, reach out to a mental health professional who can provide personalized treatment options based on your individual needs and goals in therapy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to managing anxiety but with proper support and guidance with online anxiety therapy, healing is possible!

Lindsey Ferris, MS, LMFTA, Washington State

Talk. Heal. Thrive. therapist Lindsey Ferris is based out of Seattle, Washington working with clients via online anxiety therapy.

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