Anxiety can affect us all in different ways. While there are common symptoms to watch out for, and early warning signs that you may be struggling, there’s no magic list of symptoms that everyone gets and no easy way to know exactly what you are dealing with. As well as the more common symptoms, you may be surprised to learn that anxiety can have some strange effects on your body, leading to some odd physical symptoms. These can include the following.
Cold Hands and Feet
Many of us get cold hands and feet in the winter, but for people with poor circulation or other health conditions, it can be a problem which affects them all year around. However, if this is a new sensation for you, it could be caused by anxiety. When we are extremely anxious, our bodies go into survival mode. So, your heart focuses on getting blood to your primary organs, neglecting your extremities in the process.
Your emotions and your skin have a unique connection, one which is always present. You blush when you are embarrassed, your skin gets hot when you are nervous, and you can come out in rashes when you are anxious. If you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or allergy rashes, you may notice they flare up if you have anxiety. This is because when your body is dealing with stress, it produces extra cortisol, weakening your defenses.
We don’t only yawn when we are tired; we also yawn when we are bored and when we are anxious. Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed out and extremely worried, you breathe faster? Well, this makes your brain think it isn’t getting enough oxygen, so it forces a yawn to get more. Again, it’s a survival instinct.
Feeling Like Things Aren’t Real
If you suffer from extreme anxiety, another survival technique that your body employs is to shut off any non-essential feelings and emotions to help you cope. This can leave you almost feeling spaced out, like you’re not connected to your body and its actions, or even like you are watching yourself from above. This feeling of being out of control or even out of body can be extremely disconcerting, and the best way to regain control is to sit still and take some deep breaths.
Often, people hear the ring of their phone when it isn’t actually ringing. Researchers call this “ringxiety” and believe that people with attachment anxiety, such as those that worry about their partner’s commitment or their friend’s loyalty, experience it more often than other people. Another common cause of hearing things, as well as other symptoms on this list, is the anxiety that comes with addiction. To overcome anxiety caused by addiction, it’s important to recognize the root cause of the problem and get help. However, if these symptoms don’t sound like you, see your GP as hearing things can also be a symptom of a physical illness.
Anxiety can be a serious problem, which can completely debilitate and stop you from enjoying your life. If you are struggling, it’s important to get help as soon as you can.