Everyone’s experienced anxiety in their lifetime. It might have been mild or severe, a short bout, or a chronic problem. Regardless, it can be a real impediment during day-to-day activities and interactions. These are 7 things you’ll relate to if you have anxiety.
Rehearsing Your Order
Anxiety can make something as simple as placing an order seem difficult. Maybe you’re waiting to be served at a restaurant or in line to purchase a movie ticket. And you’re getting nervous. You don’t want to stammer or stutter, you don’t want to stuff up your order. This anxiety is rooted in the fear of coming off as stupid to other people or fumbling the ball when it comes to interacting with them. This is a theme that will pop up again.
So you ‘rehearse’ your order or request or whatever it is, in your head. You go through it over and over again, maybe making adjustments, making sure it will come out just right. You may practice tone of voice, the way your smile will look, anything to effectively come off as human. And then, despite all that, when you finally get to the counter, you may just botch it up anyway.
Blown-Up Stress and Worry
Everyone worries and everyone stresses out. Anxiety can just amplify these feelings, and at a rate that’s not proportional to whatever the cause of the stress is. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that can set you off. You may have been doing ok for a while and then you can’t find your shoes and you have what feels like a mental breakdown. You may also find yourself worrying about things to an unreasonable degree.
Dreading to Meet New People
This goes back to the anxiety associated with wanting to make a first good impression. It’s not that you don’t like meeting new people, it’s just that it can be difficult for you sometimes, or every time, depending on the context and the severity of your anxiety.
You feel apprehensive beforehand, your brain telling you to be at the ready. This could manifest in dread or tension. You may become sweaty or feel sick. And obviously, when you do meet this person or persons, you try your very best to not show any signs of your anxiety. And that in itself is a tiring stunt to pull off for many. And speaking of tiring…
This can happen to anyone, but I think it can be more of a strain if you have anxiety. Because you’re arguably spending more energy trying to cover up your anxiety. It’s worse if you’re already tired from not getting enough sleep, so I have no doubt that your anxiety will be worse on such days, and your social skills may suffer for it. Sometimes you won’t feel up to seeing people or to any kind of social interaction.
Being Uncomfortable Out in Public
The great big outside world can seem very intimidating thanks to anxiety. It can feel like navigating a minefield. You become anxious about how you’re presenting yourself to the world. It can feel like everyone’s staring at you, judging you. Walking down the street can become a challenge, especially if you’re in an irritable mood, which anxiety can put you in.
You may find yourself avoiding the things that make you anxious. People, places, scenarios; if they make you feel so bad why deal with them right? This can pile up into a whole lot of things that you’re avoiding, and that can often be a problem. There are certain things that need to be excised from your life in order to better your mental health and other things that need to be dealt with.
Dwelling on the Past and Worrying about the Future
Anxiety can lead us to revisit the past and fret about the future to an unhealthy degree. You’ll find yourself replaying memories, perhaps wishing for a different outcome. You may become fixated on embarrassing or painful memories, or what could have been, the roads not taken. And then there’s stressing over the future, that murky, uncertain time. You may become overly meticulous in your planning. A structure can help with anxiety, but if you become rigid it can exasperate it.