When you think of anxiety, what comes to mind? Nervousness talking to an audience or drawing a blank when taking an important test or at a job interview? Maybe you’ve got some experience with panic attacks or being anxious in social situation, with a little voice telling you that you aren’t good enough to fit in.
While those are pretty common anxiety symptoms, not everyone with anxiety gets the big, obvious symptoms. There are some signs of anxiety that are often overlooked — but can still impact your life in a big way. Do you often find yourself trembling, have gastrointestinal (GI) problems, or are irritable a lot of the time? If you’ve dealt with one or more of these regularly, you may be struggling with anxiety.
Uncontrollable trembling may signify an underlying anxiety disorder — specifically generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). If you find that you often tremble for no apparent reason, it may be your anxiety acting up. If you’ve just had your fourth cup of coffee in the past hour, you could be shaky because of all that caffeine! Caffeine can worsen the anxiety you already have, so be mindful of how much coffee you’re drinking. But if trembling for “no reason” is getting in the way of your daily life, this can be a warning sign that you’re internalizing a hefty dose of anxiety.
GI problems can be caused by a variety of things; perhaps you just ate an entire two-week-old unrefrigerated pie, some sketchy sushi from a gas station, or simply have brain-gut signal problems. If none of these fit the bill, the issue could be anxiety. Whatever the cause, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying physical problems first. If the problems end up being anxiety, you can work with your doctor or counselor on solutions for that, too. Your GI tract will thank you for getting the help you deserve.
You’re Cranky for No Reason
Irritability is a surprising symptom of both anxiety and depression and can make life pretty unenjoyable. Being irritable makes it hard to enjoy life and you may accidentally push people away. After all, not many people like being snapped at, and even fewer people are willing to hang out with total cranks. Even if you rule out hormonal problems with similar symptoms (PMS, PMDD and menopause in women or Low T in guys can be brutal on your shining personality), you can still find relief for these problems if your irritability is anxiety-based.
If these symptoms sound all too familiar, you are not alone. Many people have worked together to develop ways of coping with and overcoming anxiety, such as listening to stress-relieving music, mindful meditation and finding your inner peace. Sometimes personal coping skills are not enough and there’s no shame in that. If this is the case for you, reach out to a counselor or talk to your doctor. Getting help is the best way to help yourself, and you deserve to feel better. Remember, life is meant to be lived immersed in joy and happiness.