We experience anxiety at some point in our days or through weeks. It is our body's natural alarm reaction to any stressful situation, person, or thing. Although this is a typical response, for some of us it can persist for so long that it can disrupt our everyday life. This may be a sign of what is known as chronic anxiety.
Anxiety is like a rude guest, which may leave for a short while but would eventually come back and try to make space in your homes. The good news is that you have control over your symptoms, and it is not the other way around. If it helps, think of your anxiety as a chronic ailment that requires ongoing observation. Miss a day of therapy, and you risk confusing your body's systems. Having a plan means that your daily to-do list includes anti-anxiety techniques. Research shows that persistent or chronic anxiety can impact our ability to adapt.
Signs Your Anxiety Just Isn’t Going Away
It is important to distinguish day-to-day anxiety from anxiety that doesn't go away and impairs your daily functioning. Recognizing these differences can help you in seeking timely help and treatment. Here are five signs that your anxiety isn't going away:
1. Physiological Reactions
Your mind and body are intricately connected. Physical symptoms of anxiety are common, although they can usually be dealt with or go away in manageable cases. However, in cases of chronic anxiety, the symptoms become causes of concern as they only appear to worsen when people become aware of them, creating a vicious cycle. Among the most typical symptoms of anxiety are an upset stomach, headache, heart palpitations, numbness, tingling, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
2. Persistent Irritability
People who experience increased anxiety may occasionally realize that they are simply angry with the world and lack the patience and ability to flow with the situation that they once did more naturally. They could become irritated by things they weren't previously affected by, such as annoying noises, congested environments, or difficult social situations. People who are anxious may start to focus this negativity inward as well, doubting their capacity to tackle challenges and evaluating themselves more critically than ever.
3. Feeling a Lack of Control
It might be challenging for those who are anxious at times to express what they are going through. They might feel as though they are drowning in tension or that their lives are spinning out of control. Some people may somatize this and start to believe that there is a physical issue with their bodies. Others simply feel like they are constantly on edge and can never relax. In either case, it may be so uncomfortable that they need assistance.
You might find that even though you become very tired, you continue to ponder a million details per minute. This inability to rest and stop worrying can be a clear sign that things are out of control. This can crowd your mind and fill it with excessive thoughts and emotions. When you want to go back to sleep, there seems to be an endless loop of worries. Even if you are able to take care of your daily chores, anxiety that doesn't go away keeps you awake and disturbed at night.
5. Increased Conflicts
One of the first indications of increased anxiety is when a person becomes more difficult to be around; friends and family may even take this personally and believe they are to blame. Due to their discomfort, the anxious person may become more stern, pessimistic, and reluctant to engage in the social activities they once enjoyed. They might appear more tense, which makes them less tolerant and less patient and can lead to more interpersonal issues.
It can seem like chronic anxiety may not go away completely, but there are ways to manage it. As you don't want to be a burden or appear vulnerable to your friends, family, or coworkers, you might be holding your anxieties within. But the first step to regaining control is to talk about how you're feeling. You are not weak if you discussed challenges in your mental health; it's necessary. Additionally, it might encourage the person you confide in to open up to you so you can assist one another through the difficulties.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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