When anxiety says hello, you say goodbye. But anxiety doesn't understand the concept of boundaries, so it follows you everywhere. You may think you've escaped it, but it may be hiding in ways you never noticed.
1. In every situation, you are constantly worrying about what other people are thinking about you.
If you find yourself at an event where you only know two people out of ten, and with every handshake and "Hello, nice to meet you," you're instantly thinking "Oh no, they don't like me. They think I'm awkward, what should I do?" then anxiety might be playing a bigger part in your life than you may think.
Anxiety will come at very inconvenient times and control every single thought you have inside your head, and make you overthink and question everything. You could be the most perfect person in the world, but with anxiety, you feel like the worst.
2. You're often afraid to do things by yourself.
Alone time can be really cool, and it can make you feel like you have so much space and freedom. But if you're the type of person who never seems to have alone time because you constantly have someone right by your side, anxiety may be the cause of it.
Anxiety can make you feel like you must be busy all the time, in order to be "productive." It can allow you to think that being with people all the time is better than being alone part of the time. It can make you afraid of being alone or afraid of doing things without the assistance of others.
You may begin to crave someone's presence at all times because your anxiety is telling you to do so. Your anxiety is telling you it's not okay to be alone.
3. You are over-planning everything in your life.
Planning things ahead of time can be super helpful, but when it gets to the point where you're trying to control absolutely everything and everyone around you, it can become a terrible thing.
Your anxiety is saying that you must plan everything in your life in order for everything to work out how you want it to. But, the harsh reality is that your life may not turn out exactly how you want it to.
Planning everything so far ahead of time will only hurt you if those plans don't end up working out in the end.
4. You have trouble falling asleep because your brain won't shut off.
Everyone has those nights where their brain is moving a million miles an hour. They're thinking about their family, their career, what they're going to eat for breakfast tomorrow, or what their plans are for the upcoming weekend. This is normal.
What's not normal, is feeling like you can't fall asleep, every night of the week. When your brain is keeping you awake seven days a week, that's anxiety trying to control you. If you're up late at night thinking about what you could have said differently at the dinner party last week, or worrying about how clingy you're being with your significant other, this is a sign that anxiety is trying to mess with your head.
Anxiety will not let your thoughts turn off for any reason. Anxiety will make sure you're constantly worrying about things you can't change. Anxiety is making you feel less than a person.
5. You're having difficulty concentrating at work or in school.
Most people think of anxiety as a mental illness that affects your feelings, and nothing more. In actuality, anxiety messes with your brain in many ways. If you are finding yourself sitting in class, trying to concentrate on the lecture, but having no luck, it could be a sign of anxiety.
Anxiety can affect not only your concentration skills but your memory as well. When your brain is persistently worrying, you will have a hard time concentrating on things that matter greatly (such as your education or career).
If you're struggling with anxiety or mental illness, please know that help is available to you at any time.
National Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255