December 3, 2022

Anxiety is an emotion we’ve all felt—uncomfortable, anxious, overthinking that doesn’t stop. The truth is, as any psychiatrist will tell you, anxiety is not an inherently bad thing. In fact, it is a response that your mind and body create to adapt to potentially threatening situations.

However, there comes a point when this response can start working against you. How do you know that your anxiety is holding you back rather than helping you? While the best option is to see a licensed mental health practitioner, it is also helpful to educate yourself about these three signs that may indicate serious anxiety.

#1. Your anxiety doesn’t go away with the sun

A high level of anxiety throughout the day that does not diminish by evening is cause for concern.

According to the post studyFor most anxious people, the anxiety usually wears off by the end of the day. But this is not the case for people with higher levels of anxiety.

“Anxiety can become a cause for concern if the frequency and/or intensity of the anxiety is out of proportion to the source of the concern,” explains Rebecca Cox of Vanderbilt University. “If I’m too worried about an upcoming exam to be able to focus on studying, or I’m too worried about storms not leaving my house, the anxiety has moved into a problematic realm.”

She explains that anxiety has essentially reached a clinical level if it interferes with your goals and values ​​in everyday life.

Previous research suggests that anxiety may serve to keep anxiety at a high, but predictable, level in order to avoid experiencing an unexpected shift in emotions.

If you suffer from evening anxiety, Cox offers the following tips:

  1. High levels of anxiety attacks and generalized anxiety disorder are common and treatable. Those looking for treatment should find evidence-based psychotherapy providers from reputable organizations.
  2. Healthy lifestyle factors may also help with anxiety, such as prioritizing sleep and exercising regularly
  3. We can also reduce the power of anxiety by accepting the uncertainty of life. When we worry about something we have little or no control over, introducing some “maybe” thinking can be a powerful anxiety challenge. “Maybe I’ll fail this test, and maybe a terrible storm will hit…Maybe, maybe not,” Cox explains. “Acceptance and tolerance of uncertainty can help us stop trying to control the future through anxiety.”

#2. Your anxiety seeps into your dreams

modern one study that tracked the dreams of clinically anxious people revealed some fascinating commonalities.

Specifically, many dream themes appear to be more prevalent in anxious patients than in healthy people. These topics include:

  1. Chasing and stalking them
  2. Being physically attacked and confronted with aggressive actions
  3. Freezing in fear
  4. Quarrels and aggressive verbal interactions
  5. Anxiety and fear of aggressive behavior from others
  6. Fear of falling and the risk of falling
  7. Exclusion and rejection in social situations
  8. Death of parents and family members
  9. Accidents, car or aircraft accidents
  10. Facing failure and failure

Other distinguishing characteristics of these dreams are:

  • Previous love interests. Dreamers’ ex-partners or ex-husbands appeared more frequently in the dream contents of individuals with an anxiety disorder than in the dreams of healthy people.
  • High speed and power. The dreams of anxiety disorder patients were also characterized by the presence of high speeds and high speed in general, and thus fast-moving personalities, objects, transportation and vehicles.
  • high emotional intensity. The presence of an anxiety disorder increases the overall self-intensity of dream experiences and dream images. Dream contents are not only present in anxiety patients in large numbers, but they are also experienced with particularly high subjective intensity and focus.

If your dreams feature these types of images and themes, psychologist Anton Rimsch of the University of Dusseldorf advises consulting with a practicing psychoanalyst, as they have experience working not only with anxiety disorders but also with dream contents.

#3. Your anxiety stresses your partner

One study which tracked anxiety levels in 33 husbands (the wife in each case had clinical anxiety) and found that on days when the wife’s anxiety was exacerbated, the husband reported that their relationship was distressing.

In most cases, it is the husband’s responsibility to accommodate or relieve the wife’s anxiety. In cases where the husband was able to ease the situation, the wife stated that the relationship was positive. But if the husband’s reaction is anger or annoyance, this worsens her condition, creating a cycle of negative and painful reactions of increased anxiety and hostility.

The story, however, does not end there. Just because a husband was able to temporarily deal with his wife’s anxiety doesn’t mean that the interaction’s effect on the relationship was positive. This was especially true for relationships in which the transition technique for dispelling anxiety was based on avoidance.

“It is possible that when couples collude in managing anxiety through avoidance, they may inadvertently maintain or exacerbate the degree of joint distress from day to day,” the authors say.

If the relationship has reached the stage where anxiety (or avoidance anxiety) controls the dynamic and level of stress, it may be time for expert intervention. It is highly recommended to have a frank and open dialogue with your partner, counselor or couples therapist in these situations.

conclusion: Mental health problems, like physical illnesses, are inevitable. The problem begins when it is not resolved for long periods of time. Monitoring your anxiety levels, and seeking help when needed, can greatly benefit your health and lifestyle.

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