How to tell if your anxiety is a problem.
Do you know how to tell if your anxiety is a problem? Everyone experiences anxiety. Whether slight nerves, or a full blown panic attack, anxiety is a normal human emotion. And it actually serves a very important function. We need emotions like fear and anxiety to tell us when things aren’t right. We need it to flood us with chemicals like adrenalin to get us out of threatening situations. And even to improve our performance in high stress situations like a big game or interview.
But I often get clients who are unsure if their anxiety is normal or not. So, what’s the difference between normal nerves and an anxiety disorder? In other words, how do you know if your anxiety is a problem?
Well, it comes down to asking yourself these three questions:
ONE: How intense is it?
Everyone experiences nerves, anxiety, worry and stress. These are normal human emotions and can be very useful in many situations. But, if the anxiety that you experience is VERY intense and feels unmanageable and overwhelming, this is a sign that things aren’t right. For example, most people feel anxious leading up to a job interview. They might feel butterflies, sweaty hands, bit shakey. But if you feel like (or actually do) vomit, like you might pass out, like you’re whole world is imploding…not ok!
TWO: How often is it?
If your feelings of anxiety are situation-specific and these situations are infrequent, it may not concern you that much. However, if you are feeling anxious multiple times a week, or even every day, this is turning into more of a problem that needs addressing.
THREE: How much impact does it have?
So you have a job interview and the anxiety is pretty bad, so you end up cancelled because you just can’t handle it anymore. Anytime that anxiety causes a big impact on your decisions, social life, relationships, achievements, it is a sign that it has turned into an issue that should really be dealt with.
In other words, having anxiety every now and then in common situations is totally NORMAL. But if you are experiencing intense and overwhelming anxiety, on a regular basis, and you are starting to avoid things because of it, you could really benefit from seeing a professional about it.
Hope that helps clarify things for you! Want more details? Check out:
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All the best,