Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an intense fear response that causes the nervous system to go into overdrive. When this happens, the body’s fight or flight response kicks in causing increased heart rate, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and muscle tension. The normal functions of the mind shut down and all attention is directed toward the experience or thought that initiated hyperarousal. Sometimes, we may not know what triggered our anxiety and that is normal too. When we experience anxiety, our body perceives imminent danger and responds accordingly. Anxiety exceeds the normal stress levels that life inflicts on all of us through common stressors such as finances, relationships, parenthood, and careers. Anxiety can strike without warning or cause. If you feel anxious most of the time on more days than not, it may be a sign that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder.

How does anxiety feel?

Anxiety can make you feel out of control. Like chaos is coursing through your veins and thoughts are flashing through your mind. Your skin may become warm or feel like you’re being poked by pins and needles. You may feel light-headed or experience shortness of breath. Your heart may pound and your muscles may tighten. If you have experienced these symptoms, you are not alone.

Other common symptoms of anxiety:

  • Nausea or heartburn
  • Increased body temperature or flushing of the skin
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred or tunnel vision
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Inability to relax
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle pain
  • Rumination

What does anxiety look like?

Anxiety looks different for everyone. Some experience intense anxiety surrounding a certain event and others experience a general blanket of anxiety on a constant basis. Generalized anxiety disorder causes the mind to worry about anything and everything. The future may seem hopeless and you may dread normal obligations. You may struggle to get out of bed or frequently miss work. Below we have listed signs that indicate you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety.

  • Flaking out on responsibilities
  • Avoiding certain scenarios or people
  • Not answering the phone
  • Perfectionism
  • Needing to be in constant control
  • Isolating from others
  • Fidgeting or chewing on fingernails
  • Talking fast or not at all

Stress or Anxiety?

You may be asking yourself what the difference between stress and anxiety is. Stress is actually your body’s natural way of dealing with the unknown or alerting you to possible dangers. When we encounter a stressful event, it is normal to become irritable, tense, or restless. Anxiety is stress on steroids and can be difficult to deal with because there is not always a clear-cut cause for the anxiety we feel. Anxiety can be more debilitating and crippling. It can cause a person to never want to leave their house or suddenly quit their job. It exceeds worry and minimizes logical thinking.

Next Steps

The New Vision Counseling and Consulting team is here to empower you. We can provide you with coping strategies and provide you with a safe space to work through your fears. We don’t expect you to know how to solve anxiety on your own and want to meet you where you are. The world and the future can be terrifying, but your anxiety does not have to be. Your anxiety is unique and personal, so your journey to wellness should be too. Whether you just want a trusted individual to vent to, or are in desperate need of therapy, we are your answer. We are waiting to hear your story and look forward to meeting you. If you are ready to break free from anxiety the natural next step is to call (405) 921-7776


11209 N May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73120


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