How Do You Know If You Have Anxiety? Top 10 Signs

How Do You Know If You Have Anxiety knowing if you have anxiety by observing the symptoms is very important to be able to treat it properly. Anxiety is one of the most common psychological alterations, which occurs in a larger number of people and that each of us can experience at some point in his life.

However, it can often be difficult to detect which sensations respond to an anxiety disorder and when you are actually suffering from such an alteration.

How Do You Know If You Have Anxiety

How is anxiety detected?

To properly interpret anxiety as a psychological symptom first of all we must mention that anxiety itself does not always have to constitute a mental alteration.

How Do You Know If You Have Anxiety

In fact, anxiety is interpreted as a mechanism of mental and physical activation that people use on multiple occasions in our lives.

People can experience anxiety when we have a lot of work to do in a short time, when we want to achieve a specific goal or when we are studying a vital examination.

In this way, anxiety appears whenever we need to activate ourselves in a special way to perform certain tasks.

However, when this activation appears in a context in which there is no reason why we should activate more than normal for our optimal functioning appears what is called pathological anxiety.

Thus, in these cases, people suffer abnormally high activation and experience many difficulties in reversing the situation, returning to a state of tranquility or being able to calm down.

This fact reveals the difficulties in differentiating the normal or adequate activation of our body with the anxiety and the psychological state that characterizes it, which can be very annoying and unpleasant.

As we have said, the main aspect that allows us to differentiate one state from the other is the presence of a stimulus that motivates the over activation of our body and our mind.

However, often the stimuli can be very ambiguous, since anything that can motivate a state of greater activation in a person, will always be interpreted in a subjective way.

This causes that the divergence of opinions on whether a person suffers or not anxiety is a more than common aspect in this type of alterations, and  people sometimes do not know for sure if they have anxiety or not.

Thus, in order to help delineate what aspects characterize a state of anxiety and what sensations a nervous person experiences, it is of vital importance to consider the following signs.

10 signs to find out if you have anxiety

1-Sleeping problems

Possibly the main characteristic that occurs in anxiety disorders are sleeping problems.

With sleep problems, there is no reference to specific days when it is difficult to fall asleep or days when one wakes up earlier than usual, but continuous and repeated problems in the attempt to rest properly.

A person with anxiety will most likely have trouble falling asleep at night despite having made a considerable physical and psychological wear during the day.

So, although you may feel tired or in need of rest, an anxious person is often very difficult to fall asleep when lying down in bed.

This fact is explained by the physical and psychic over activity that a person experiences than an anxiety disorder.

Anxious individuals have greater brain activation at all times of the day and find it hard to divert attention from their thoughts throughout the day.

In this way, when they are tired or go to bed, it is very difficult to perform the simple mental exercise to avoid extreme thoughts to get to sleep.

In order to sleep properly people need a minimum state of calm and relaxation, so that people who fail to reach it have many difficulties to fall asleep.

2-Muscle tension

Another fundamental aspect that characterizes states of nervousness is muscular tension.

As we have been remarking, when anxiety appears, there is an immediate increase in the activation of the mind and body.

In this way, the muscles of the body, instead of being relaxed and with a normal tone for most of the time like most people, these are in constant tension.

To understand better, we will put the following example:

Anxiety is that brain mechanism that allows us to get our body going before situations that require a quick and effective response.

For example, if you are in the middle of the forest and hear a threatening noise, anxiety will allow you to activate your body in the relevant way so that, in case of emergency, you can respond appropriately.

In this way, one of the main actions your mind will perform on your body will be to tighten your muscles tightly so that they are ready for action.

If this state of anxiety occurs only during this situation, the muscles will be tightly tensioned for a limited period of time, and as the threat disappears they will return to their normal pitch.

However, when you present pathological anxiety, your mind will be activating your muscles continuously throughout the day, every day.

Thus, if you are anxious, your muscles will become more and tenser, you will be unable to relax them and you will most likely feel back or neck pains.

3-Physical discomfort

Due to the same reasons we mentioned earlier, anxiety can cause a large number of physical aches and pains.

As our body is permanently activated, it can never relax and we begin to experience certain annoying sensations.

The physical sensations that can be experienced in the anxiety can be diverse; nevertheless, the most common are usually the typical “nerves in the stomach “.


This sensation is characterized by a series of unpleasant discomforts in that part of the body that are interpreted as nervous sensations, as if the  nerves were stored in the stomach.

This is because the intestine is an organ highly sensitive to psychological stresses, so we experience the permanent activation of that part of the body as very annoying and unpleasant.

Likewise, these sensations can give rise to swelling, gas, constipation or other digestive problems.

However, “nerves in the stomach” are not the only physical discomfort that anxiety can cause.

Palpitations, elevated heart rate, sweating, tremors, choking sensation, chest tightness, instability, dizziness or nausea may be other physical symptoms experienced in anxiety.

4-Uncontrollable thinking

Another characteristic of anxiety is the inability to control thinking.

When anxiety appears in our mind, it takes control completely and prevents us from stopping it when it causes us discomfort.

Thoughts begin to emerge without any kind of control, they slide through our minds with complete freedom, and sometimes, no matter how hard we try we are unable to stop it.

So, no matter how annoying the thoughts we have and even if we want to disappear, it continues to function as if it had a life of its own.

It is as if the hemorrhaging of emotions and feelings that causes anxiety has more control over what we think ourselves.

In this way, tranquility is perceived as unattainable, since we are only able to pay attention to our thoughts, which increase and increase our anxiety state.

5-Excessive concern

Likewise, the uncontrollable thoughts described in the previous section do not usually have a pleasant and optimistic content.

Rather, on the contrary, they tend to focus on aspects that cause us much concern and increase our sense of anxiety and nervousness.

In this way, worries appear in the mind without any kind of control, and these are getting bigger and bigger, making an endless loop with our physical feelings of anxiety.

6-Irrational fears

In some cases, excessive concerns can become totally irrational fears towards different aspects.

These anxiety problems are what are known as phobias, and are characterized by excessive fear and without any kind of reason some specific aspect.

These irrational fears can appear before any element (snakes, spiders, heights, blood, etc.) or situations (driving, relating to other people, being alone, etc.).

Likewise, the person who suffers them is capable of interpreting them as irrational, but despite being aware that it does not make sense to have such extreme fear, he is unable to extinguish it and / or reduce it.

Once again we are faced with the uncontrollability of thought, it begins to produce highly anxious and unpleasant content, and by many efforts that are made always seem to win the game.

7-Perfectionism

One of the most common traits of people suffering from anxiety is perfectionism and the need to do things in the best way possible.

In this case, perfectionism itself is not a sign that demonstrates the appearance of anxiety but it can in many cases explain the origin and maintenance of this type of alterations.

Perfectionists will have a greater motivation to do things properly, but in turn they will have less control when they perceive the imperfection of many of the elements around them.

In this way, a very perfectionist person may experience elevated states of anxiety over aspects that would go unnoticed for others who do not focus so much on details.

8-Feeling of insecurity

The insecurity is a common symptom in most anxiety disorders.

This signs is characterized by the emergence of a certain sensation in which feelings of uncontrollability are experienced, difficulty recognizing what is adequate and absence of stimuli that reaffirm the mastery of things.

In fact, many anxiety disorders can originate in the absence of control of aspects that are constituted as vital for a person.

Does my job guarantee me a stable job future? Will I be able to improve the relationship with my partner and marry her? Did I choose the studies that I did well and guarantee to find work?

Aspects like these can generate a sense of lack of control in the person who is experienced with elevated anxiety states and emotions.

In these cases, the central axis of anxiety can be this lack of security and the need to be constantly activated when trying in vain to gain greater control of the situation.

9-Difficulty concentrating

When you are anxious or extremely nervous, concentrating and thinking clearly often presents itself as a highly complicated task.

The reason is that to concentrate properly requires a remarkable amount of energy and a total direction of our attention towards a concrete stimulus.

However, an anxious person will have his mind in constant operation, investing high levels of energy in maintaining the permanent thoughts that define his state of anxiety.

In this way, when the person is willing to change his focus of attention and ignore his thoughts to be able to concentrate on any task, his brain often ignores.

Also Read: Can anxiety because blurred vision?

For the mind of a person with anxiety, the anxious thoughts that he holds inside seem to be much more important than any other aspect, thus making him change his mind and getting him to concentrate on other things is often complicated.

10-Restlessness or impatience

Finally, the last sign that characterizes anxiety and that is very useful to detect this type of states is the restlessness or impatience.

Nervous people often have a lot of difficulty calming down so their body will be permanently active and restless.

Also, this state of over activation will cause the person to appear highly impatient before anything.

The organism of a person with anxiety goes faster than the rest, so he expects things to work at the same speed as him. When this does not happen, the feelings and thoughts of impatience appear instantly.

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