Learning To Live With Anxiety – Noticing The Warning Signs
Anxiety is like a friend who comes and goes. A friend who decides to visit on their terms, not yours. And a friend who does everything they can to break you down.
It’s true that anxiety does sometimes seem to appear for absolutely no reason, but often that’s because we aren’t paying enough attention to our thoughts. If we look back, and try and remember, we can probably pinpoint some warning signs.
Strangely enough, it’s actually useful to listen to your anxiety, and notice when it’s there. If you have worked yourself into a full blown panic attack, then the chances are you missed some important warning signs.
If you can learn to identify anxiety when it’s first bubbling at the surface, rather than when it’s ready to launch a full blown attack, you will have a better chance at managing it.
Lately I have been noticing the little things that happen when a bout of anxiety is about to come on. I’m talking about both how I’m feeling and how I behave. And I thought, perhaps if I get it down on paper (or my blog), I will be better informed and more able to spot the warning signs next time.
For reasons I won’t disclose, my anxiety has been building the last few months. But this time something is different. Instead of freaking out and being like oh no, here we go again, I feel anxious so the world is going to end, I have just sort of sat with it. Well, so far anyway.
I have let it take residence in my chest like a woodpecker living inside a hollow tree. The woodpecker keeps pecking at me, but I don’t give him the satisfaction of getting annoyed. I’m like hey there, I suppose if you have highjacked my body I am going to have to learn to live with you, at least for a little while, until you fly off.
I think my awareness of my anxiety is growing, and so is my understanding of its causes. It doesn’t make it any more pleasant to experience. I still feel like utter crap, and can’t really enjoy life until it passes, but I’m not completely shutting down or having panic attacks.
I’m retaining my strength, and pouring all that anxious energy into getting shit done, instead of feeling sorry for myself. And I think it might be because I am noticing. I am noticing the things that are upsetting me.
Instead of getting annoyed at myself for being anxious, I’m patting myself on the back and saying ‘you’ve got this, you can get through this.’
So I have racked my brain to try and figure out some of the main anxiety warning signs. These are things that I experience, and it’s important to point out that everyone is different. You might experience some of these things, but you might also notice a variety of other warning signs.
The key is to notice them, and write them down. Then, next time you notice them, you can do stuff that makes you feel better and beat the anxiety before it even has a chance to bed in.
Here are some anxiety warnings signs to watch out for. You can experience lots of them at once, or perhaps one or two at a time.
- Not coping in social situations
- Obsessing over things
- That dull ache in your chest
- Feeling like you need some rest
- Feeling like things are starting to get on top of you
- Worrying about silly things
- Lack of concentration
- Avoiding certain situations
- Thinking something awful is about to happen
- Overthinking things
- Not being able to relax or enjoy yourself
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of self esteem
- Lack of confidence