5 Surprising Symptoms of Anxiety

woman experiencing anxiety

Anxiety often presents itself in different ways.  Most of us have experienced some level of anxiety at one point or an0ther.  Sometimes we can experience it in the form of sweaty palms.  Other times it can be in the form of a racing heart. But there are times that you can be under such a heightened level that it presents itself in different – less obvious ways.  It is one of those things that can alter your whole personality and the way you do things without you even realizing about it.  Here are 5 surprising ways that anxiety shows itself.

Digestive Issues

The brain and your stomach are very closely related.  This can be seen when you get butterflies in your stomach just by thinking of something.  Or when your stomach is in knots as you prepare for a big event or decision.  But these are both instances where you are fully aware of why you have butterflies or why your stomach is in knots.  When being anxious becomes such a normal part of your day-to-day existence, you may not realize that your heartburn, upset stomach, or acid reflux as a result of the anxiety that your body is experiencing.  Sometimes it takes the ruling out of many other disorders or medical issues to realized that your digestive issues may be the result of anxiety.  Once you see it for what it is, you can have better control over it.

Anxiety can Lead to Confusion

Anxiety can cause you to feel very confused or if you are walking in a fog.  Even if you do not realize that you are operating under a heightened level of anxiety, you may still feel these effects.  You may find that you become confused when trying to remember details.  Or you may find it difficult to follow conversations or formulate logical thoughts.  This confusion can be due to either your mind going blank or because there are too many thoughts running through your mind.  Most of the time this confusion comes and goes as opposed to happening of the time.  General confusion or the feeling of having disjointed thoughts can be a symptom of anxiety.

Anxiety Can Cause Tiredness

Did you know that anxiety can physically tire you out?  The truth is that it can and often does.  When you body is experiencing a great deal of stress, your muscles tense.  This can tire you out and make you very tired without you even realizing why you are so tired.  When you are under a great deal of stress, your body will begin to shut down as a way of protecting itself.  As discussed earlier, anxiety can lead to confusion and disjointed thoughts.  Trying to process these thoughts can be mentally draining and can lead to physical tiredness.  You may not realize why you are suddenly so tired or taking frequent naps, but it could be related to anxiety.

Perfectionism

Those fighting anxiety may also find themselves fighting perfectionism.  It will tell you that everything must look or be a certain way and, if it is not, you are a failure.  It may also tell you that you are not where you need to be in life or that you are unworthy of any good thing that happens to you.  Anxiety tells you these things and the quest for perfection is what we do in response to these feelings.  Perfectionism is a lesser-known symptom because people sometimes fail to realize that it stems from the desire to do things perfectly on the first try.  This leads to perfectionist behaviors that, ironically, the anxiety perpetuates.

Frequent Colds

Anxiety releases a great deal of chemicals and hormones that prepare you to be able to respond to tense situations.  Your immune is given a boost when this happens.  In most circumstances, your immune system returns to normal.  But in circumstances where you frequently experience a high level of anxiety, your immune system does not have time to recover.  This leads to being much more susceptible to illnesses.  The compromising of the immune system is a surprising symptom to many, but it is good to know so that you are aware of how seriously anxiety can impact your health.

woman looking confidently into camera

If you battle anxiety, have you ever experienced any of these things? Comment below if you have ever experienced these or any other surprising symptoms of anxiety.

5 Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

Christmas gifts to help promote self-care
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I think most of us would agree that this has been an extremely challenging year.  Many of us have experienced a lot of loss.  Some of us have lost loved ones.  Some of us have lost jobs.  And some of us have lost our homes.  The holidays can be tough when you are trying to adjust to loss of any magnitude and this year may be more challenging than most.  The following are what I hope to tips to help you practice self-care of yourself through these holidays.

The Power of No!

Holidays can be full of invitations.  The celebrations may look and feel a little different this year, but the invitations will probably still come.  You may feel obligated to attend or participate in these events because you were invited or because the event may be something that you would have attended in the past.  There is power in the word ‘no’.  I am talking about a good, old fashioned, solid ‘no’.  The kind of no that does not come with an explanation or an apology.  You deserve a holiday that does not leave you feeling overwhelmed and drained.

Stay Thankful

Holidays are a great time to reflect on our many blessings.  A great way to practice self-care is to think of the things that you must be thankful for.  A good way to do this is to keep a running list or journal to serve as a reminder of all the things you should be thankful for.  Revisiting your list or journal entries and thinking back on all the things you have to be thankful for can help a great deal. 

Allow Yourself to Feel

When those sad or unpleasant feelings begin to overwhelm you, your natural tendency may be to press them down and ignore them.  Doing this can lead to these emotions “eating you up” on the inside.  Allow yourself to feel whatever emotion that comes your way.  If you feel like laughing, laugh.  If you feel like crying, cry.  If you want to be to yourself because it is just too much to be around people, do that.  You can often do more harm to yourself than good when you try to suppress these feelings.  Be open to your feelings and allow yourself to feel them in their totality.  Accepting your feelings is a form of self-care as you allow yourself to feel emotions and work through them.

Keep a Routine

There is often great comfort in routine.  Knowing what is coming next can often ease a lot of anxiety.  There is a lot going on around the holidays and there is often a lot of pressure to get into the holiday spirit.  If you begin to feel down, sometimes the easiest way to get back to feeling like yourself a little is to continue your routine.  It may not be easy, and you may not feel up to continuing your entire routine but doing those things that are familiar can help prevent you from falling into a prolonged period of not feeling like yourself.

Keep Moving

There are so many benefits to physical activity.  Whether you are running, walking, or just moving around your house, physical activity decreases tension and stress while giving you a natural energy boost.  It can also reduce your risk of becoming depressed during this time.  When you stay in bed or start to become inactive, you may feel sluggish and your mental health may begin to be affected.  Move around even it is just to walk to the mailbox.  A part of self-care is to keep moving so that you can keep your energy level up and hopefully your mood elevated.

Christmas tree to help promote self-care
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Hopefully, these self-care tips will help ease any unpleasant feelings that you may feel throughout this holiday season.  Remember that all these feelings are normal and that you may have to intentionally put yourself first. 

What are some things that you do to practice self-care during the holidays?

The Serenity Room wishes you a Happy Holiday Season!

Holiday Self-Care: Keep Moving

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

There are so many benefits to physical activity.  Whether you are running, walking, or just moving around your house, physical activity decreases tension and stress while giving you a natural energy boost.  It can also reduce your risk of becoming depressed during this time.  When you stay in bed or start to become inactive, you may feel sluggish and your mental health may begin to be affected.  Move around even it is just to walk to the mailbox.  A part of self-care is to keep moving so that you can keep your energy level up and hopefully your mood elevated.

Previous Tips: Say No!, Be Thankful, Allow Yourself to Feel, and Keep a Routine

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Holiday Self-Care: Keep a Routine

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There is often great comfort in routine.  Knowing what is coming next can often ease a lot of anxiety.  There is a lot going on around the holidays and there is often a lot of pressure to get into the holiday spirit.  If you begin to feel down, sometimes the easiest way to get back to feeling like yourself a little is to continue your routine.  It may not be easy, and you may not feel up to continuing your entire routine but doing those things that are familiar can help prevent you from falling into a prolonged period of not feeling like yourself.

Previous Tips: Say No!, Be Thankful, and Allow Yourself to Feel

Follow The Serenity Room on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!

5 Benefits of Positive Thinking

Woman thinking positively and smiling
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My last couple of posts have been on barriers to positivity and ways to achieve mindfulness.  This week’s post is going to focus on the benefits of positive thinking.  It can often be challenging to think positively and to always look at the bright side. Although it is challenging there are so many benefits to positive thinking. 

Woman holding firecracker and thinking positively

Positive Thinking Gives Hope

Have you ever been in a situation where the only think you had was the hope that everything was going to be all right?  Hope is often lost when you only dwell on the things that can go wrong.  By its definition, hope is the expectation and desire that something will happen.  When things are beginning to look bleak and your thoughts are beginning to shift to the negative, positive thinking can help you get focused on positive outcomes.  Positive thinking can often give you renewed hope in situations that you felt were hopeless. 

Woman looking resilient due to thinking positively

Positive Thinking Leads to Resilience

Consistent positive thinking leads to positive thinking becoming a habit.  It will become second nature to see the good in a situation and you will find that you do not always consciously talk yourself into thinking positively.  Resilience will make you better able to respond to adversity of tough circumstances with the belief that everything will work out in the long run.  Focusing on positive outcomes, and only positive outcomes, can help build the resilience that you need to make it through tough times.

Attract Other Positive People

Having a positive outlook on life will make it more likely that you will want that for other people.  Your positivity will lead you to encourage others and to want nothing but positive outcomes for them.  Consistent positive people will either attract people to you or drive people away from you.  Those with a not so positive outlook will either adapt or slowly distance themselves.  In the end, your circle will consist of those individuals whose positive thinking matches yours.  This will lead you to having a more positive set of friends and acquaintances who will consistently reciprocate your positivity.

Gratitude

Positive thinking helps you to see the positive side of things – even the things we often take for granted. When you consistently think negatively, you can miss the good things that are happening around you.  Negative thinking can sometimes have you thinking that nothing is going right and that there is nothing to be grateful.  Positive thinking will open your eyes to see the many things that you should be thankful for.  This gratitude can help you enjoy life more as you remain grateful for all that you have. This gratefulness can go a long way while working towards the things that you desire.

Better Mental Health

When you focus your energy on thinking positively, you may feel that a lot of the worries and heaviness that you carry around is alleviated.  Having a more positive outcome can help to ease anxiety which can lead to less stress.  As many of us know, stress is one of those things that can take a life of its own.  Positive thinking has been shown to lessen bouts of anxiety and depression and leading to a more consistent positive outlook on life.  Positive thinking can also help you gain a more positive view of yourself which can lead to more positive self-talk which increase your sense of self-worth.

Woman celebrating improved mental health because she started thinking positively

As you can see there are quite a few benefits to thinking positively.  Over time and with practice, hopefully you will begin to experience these benefits.

What would you add to this list?