Anxiety can be one of the nastiest feelings a person experiences regularly. It makes you second-guess everything, it makes you doubt yourself, it clouds your judgment and can even cause full-blown panic attacks where you think you’re dying, even though you’re completely fine.
While it manifests in everyone differently, there are some common habits people with anxiety experience together--even if they don’t immediately know that they’re because of anxiety.
Here are six habits you may be doing because of your anxiety:
Waking up early, even when you want to sleep in
People with anxiety know that getting enough sleep can be a tough battle to win. An anxious mind is constantly churning, it never slows down. Because of this, you often find yourself waking up early so you can have some chance at accomplishing all of the things you are incessantly worrying about.
Sleeping in is a nice idea, and you might get close sometimes, but once you’re awake your brain takes over, making it hard to forget about the weight of anxiety that is always pressing you to do something about it.
You avoid going out with friends, even when you’re excited about doing it
How many times do you make plans with friends only to flake out because you’re scared of what’s going to happen? You start thinking about everything that could go wrong, how staying at home is much less complicated and exhausting, and how people won’t have to worry about you if you’re not there. So, you decide it’s in your best interest to just play it safe and not deal with any of it.
You never think about the best-case scenarios, only the worst-case scenarios
Anxiety is that voice in your head telling you everything bad in the world is going to happen to you no matter what. It’s telling you that a deer is going to jump in front of your car as you drive to your friend’s house, it’s telling you that your cold is actually a terminal illness and you’re on your way out--it never has anything good to say, but it does a great job of inspiring fear within you.
You regularly bring up old mistakes in your mind and remind yourself how terrible you are
Anxiety is something that takes hold of you by forcing you to not live in the present. Anxiety thrives in the future and in the past, where the most uncertainty once existed and continues to exist. Anxiety makes sure you never forget about the mistakes you’ve made in life, even when they’re small and insignificant. It also never lets you forget about all of the mistakes you could potentially make in the future.
You’re constantly going over everyday conversations, thinking you said something wrong
You naturally like to avoid conflict with people because your anxiety tends to skyrocket when doing so, which leads you to over-analyzing everything you’ve said to everyone throughout your day, trying to figure out whether or not what you said was terrible or alright. The person you were talking to seemed to like the conversation just fine, but are they secretly hiding the fact that they hate talking to you? What did you say to upset them? Why don’t they like you?
It’s your anxiety thinking for you.
You regularly compare where you are in life to people who are similar in age to you
Social media can be a nightmare for people with anxiety. People only ever post about all of the great things happening in their lives, so it’s normal to only ever see things like your friends getting a great new job, getting married to the love of their life, or going on some amazing trip that you would love to do yourself. Anxiety has you constantly worrying about your own life and whether or not it will ever be what you want it to be.