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Five Signs Your Anxiety Is Out Of Control

It’s perfectly natural to experience anxiety from time to time when navigating this frenetic, fast-paced world. However, if feelings of fear, dread, uneasiness, and overwhelm are your constant bedfellows, it’s in your best interest to take action to protect yourself. Continuous stress is a burden to every system of the body, in addition to being a miserable way to live.

Unhealthy patterns can sneak up on us, so it’s helpful to be aware of signs that you’re getting off course. The following five warning signs will hone that awareness and perhaps help you to pump the brakes before your anxiety is thoroughly out of control:

  1. Pervasive feelings of panic, doom, or danger

  2. Ruminating on problems to the exclusion of other thoughts

  3. Irregular/erratic breathing patterns

  4. Muscle tension and soreness

  5. Disruptions in sleep

Pervasive Feelings Of Panic, Doom, Or Danger

Being frightened occasionally is bound to happen, but when feeling threatened becomes a regular part of life, the constant dump of cortisol into your system can take a toll on your health. When you’re constantly anxious, your body is in sympathetic (fight/flight) mode, which prevents you from doing important things like resting and digesting. So, if the frequency of episodes of feeling panicky, doom-laden, or endangered begins to increase, beware! It may be time to stage an intervention before anxiety gets the upper hand.

Ruminating On Problems To The Exclusion Of Other Thoughts

We all find ourselves mulling over problems, wishing we hadn’t said something or said it the way we did, worrying about an upcoming deadline, fretting over an event we have to attend, etc. It’s a different story if your thoughts feel like a runaway train that is simultaneously an endless loop of worry. That’s when you know your anxiety is getting the better of you.

Irregular/Erratic Breathing Patterns

It’s normal for your heart rate to increase and your breath to come in short gasps when you’re being chased by a lion. However, if these physiological changes occur when you get stuck in traffic, someone gives you a dirty look, you’re thinking about a meeting you have to attend, or you see your boss heading towards you, you may be getting off course. If the shortness of breath and rapid heart rate persists, you know your stress response is overactive, and a panic attack could be next. A crystal clear sign that your anxiety is getting out of control.

Muscle Tension and Soreness

If you just went to the gym, it’s acceptable to feel some muscle tension and soreness. On the other hand, if you haven’t done anything particularly challenging physically and you’re experiencing those things, look out! Our bodies record what we’re thinking and feeling, and tension and soreness are indicators that all is not well on the mental/emotional front.

Disruptions In Sleep

The occasional rough night’s sleep or late-night event isn’t a cause for concern, but if you often find yourself waking in the middle of the night, stewing on the previous day, or mentally projecting into the next one, you’re in trouble.

While you sleep, the glymphatic system takes out the trash the brain accumulated over the day (toxins, metabolic waste, etc.). If you don’t sleep well or deeply, this process is impaired, and you suffer for it. If your restless mind prevents you from sleeping, you know your anxiety has gone too far.

Tuning In

Just as awareness can serve as a warning system that anxiety is becoming a problem for you, it can also be a tool for preventing it. As you begin to tune into the nature of your thoughts, reflect on the quality of your breath, feel the sensations in your body, and ponder the pattern of your sleep, you become more connected to yourself.

This connection helps transform the mind and body from feeling like enemy territory into a space of greater coherence and harmony. Which is a step toward the liberation of a unified self. You should know that the process feels so good you’ll be hooked. Fortunately, there is much you can do on your own, and if you want a helping hand, there are many tools available for you, including some great ones that we offer here at Coral Gables Hypnosis.

There are healing modalities such as breathwork, meditation, hypnosis, and neuro linguistic programming that can help release anxiety and stress stored in the body and rewire the brain for peace and calm.


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