Is it Anxiety or Just Stress?

We all feel stress. It is part of our human condition. However, at times, our stress may develop into anxiety, which takes us into a new realm beyond stress, worry and nervousness.

Anxiety may feel like some or all of the below:

  • You feel irritated frequently and easily.
  • You are easily startled.
  • You tend to be a perfectionist-this may include a lot of negative self-talk.
  • You’re an over-thinker; you ruminate on scenarios.
  • You have repetitive habits, or aches and pains that go un-diagnosed.
  • You feel tired all the time.
  • You structure your time to avoid conflict, discomfort, or feeling ill-at-ease.
  • You’re a people-pleaser.
  • You’re constantly planning and doing, but it still feels like you should be doing more.
  • You feel the need to constantly be doing something.
  • Your mind frequently goes to the worst-case scenario.
  • You freak out, but no one knows it.
  • You find yourself talking incessantly from nervousness.

If these symptoms sound familiar, you may be carrying anxiety through your day.

The good news is that there are ways to learn to cope with this anxiety. If you find yourself allowing anxiety to “take over” your thoughts, actions or decisions, please talk with a mental health professional, who may help you process your anxiety and give you tools to manage it.

Allison Wray, LAPC

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