7 Signs Your Anxiety is Becoming a Problem

May 30, 2024

We all feel anxious from time to time - it’s just part of being human - and some levels of anxiety are perfectly normal; it would be weird if you didn’t feel butterflies the first time you got up to speak publicly, for example, but excessive levels of anxiety can be a problem that may need professional help for you to get back on track. 


How do you know when your anxiety has reached that point?

  1. Your Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open

Ever sit down at your computer, ready to conquer the world, only to find you’ve got about 15 tabs open, and suddenly you can’t remember why you opened them? That’s your brain on anxiety. If you find it impossible to concentrate or that your mind feels like it’s constantly buffering, your anxiety might be more than just background noise, and it might need some professional mental health help to quieten it down again.

  1. Your Social Battery Drains Faster Than an iPhone

Feeling like social interactions are more draining than usual? If the thought of small talk at parties or video calls makes you want to run for the hills—or at least hide under a blanket—it might be your anxiety dialing up the introvert in you. It’s normal to need downtime, but when "Sorry, I have plans" becomes your mantra (and by plans, you mean pajamas and your pet), it could be a sign.

  1. Your Tummy is Throwing Tantrums

Your gut is like a moody toddler; it acts up when things aren’t right. Nausea, stomach aches, or that urgent need to sprint to the bathroom can all be physical manifestations of anxiety. If your stomach is constantly in knots and you haven’t eaten a truckload of hot sauce, your anxiety might be stepping out of line.

  1. Sleep Who?

If counting sheep has turned into counting worries, and you’re tossing and turning more than a salad, that’s a red flag. Anxiety loves to throw a party when it’s time to sleep, bringing up every awkward thing you’ve said or done since high school. Lack of sleep not only makes you cranky but can also worsen anxiety—it’s a vicious cycle.

  1. Your Heart’s Doing Jazzercise

Feel like your heart is sometimes doing a cardio workout without your consent? Frequent heart palpitations, chest pain, and feeling like you might be auditioning for a heartthrob role could all be signs of anxiety. It’s normal before a big presentation or a first date, but if your heart is going full jazzercise on regular days, it’s time to look into that.

  1. You’ve Become a Fortune Teller (And the Future Looks Scary)

If you find yourself predicting catastrophic outcomes for every situation ("If I miss this call, I’ll probably get fired, become homeless, and end up living in a box"), that’s your anxiety being dramatic. This tendency to envision the worst-case scenario is not just unhelpful, it’s paralyzing.

  1. Suddenly, You’re a Master Procrastinator

Anxiety can make you put off tasks because they feel too overwhelming. What starts as, "I’ll do it after I watch this cat video," turns into, "I’ll do it after I watch all the cat videos on the internet." If procrastination is keeping you from getting things done, your anxiety is definitely crashing the productivity party.

Recognizing these signs is the first step to managing your anxiety before it manages you. So stay alert!

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