Anxiety is one of the most challenging conditions to identify, which makes it a very tricky foe. According to Providence Saint John’s Health Center psychologist Dr. David Merrill, it can make you feel out of balance, restless, tired, and irritable. What makes it more difficult to identify is its physical symptoms. You might feel like you're tackling allergies, flu, a cold, or maybe even a hangover.
Since its indicators are so vague, watch out for the following symptoms that act as tell-tale signs of the condition:
1. Shortness of Breath
Your heart and lungs work in tandem to keep the body going so if one is affected, you'll surely notice issues with the other, too. When your heartbeat increases - such as during an anxiety attack - the resulting lack of oxygen causes the lungs to start working twice as hard.
2. Sweating or Chills
During an anxiety response, you might experience a sudden change in body temperature. This is because the fight-or-flight response engages your hypothalamus, which is responsible for regulating body heat. You could be drenched in sweat, be feeling unusually chilly, or even both at the same time.
3. Indigestion or Nausea
Your central nervous system plays a big role in stress response and your stomach has more nerve fibers than any other part of the body. Just like you feel butterflies in your stomach when you're excited - a nervous system response - anxiety can lead to an upset stomach suffering from issues such as indigestion and/or nausea.
Dealing with Anxiety
Dr. Merrill states that given current conditions, plus the lockdown restrictions people had to deal with for several months, many people experienced anxiety. He adds that mindfulness-based activities like tai chi or yoga can be beneficial in calming down both the mind and body.
Additionally, it is recommended that you report your symptoms of anxiety to a trained professional. If you have some sort of a stay-at-home order right now, you can opt for some telehealth services made available in light of the pandemic. Other than that, if you experience unusual health symptoms not listed above, it is still recommended that you get yourself checked by a health professional for the sake of staying safe.