What Is Anxiety And Do I Have It?

Anxiety is often defined as excessive worry. But for many Southern Utah women, we know that anxiety is more than just worry. It can stop you in your tracks. Brain fog will cloud even the simplest decisions. Fear of things going wrong can stop you from travel, adventure or starting / changing jobs. Irritability can ruin relationships and steal you of joy.

Anxiety has also been defined as your wants or needs not being met. So, when we hope or need something to happen and it doesn’t, we can feel anxious to the point that we are immobilized. Anxiety in these situations can rob you or your ability to cope or have hope that things will work out.

Worry and nervousness happen to everyone and is a normal part of being a human. There will always be times in our lives when we feel anxious. In fact, if our goal is to never feel anxious, we will fail. Side note: one way to manage anxiety is to accept that at times throughout our lives, we will feel anxious.

Anxiety is a problem when we feel it affecting our lives a lot of the time. If we are anxious most of the day, most days of the week, and in most situations, anxiety has gone from being a normal part of a typical life to being a definite problem.

Two women laughing together outdoors.

Is My Anxiety A Problem?

Another way to recognize if anxiety is a problem is if we cannot control it. Now, it is impossible to fully control our emotions all the time. But usually, we can put them on hold or lessen them to a manageable level. Many women accomplish this with self-care, coping skills and strategies or allowing themselves to be supported by loved ones. When we can’t do this, anxiety has gone from being a normal part of being a human to being a real problem.

Signs you might be anxious and symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge; When you feel like you just can’t settle down, like you must move your body, or you have so much energy that you can’t focus.
  • Being easily fatigued; Even though you have all that unfocused energy, you’re somehow tired, overwhelmed, and can’t seem to get up and go.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank; When you try to force yourself to do something productive it’s hard to focus on any one thing long enough to be productive. Or we just can’t seem to grab onto any thought or idea.
  • Irritability; Do you ever feel like everything and everyone is stupid? Even when you know that isn’t true, anxiety can make it feel this, your temper may flare and it feels true.
  • Muscle tension; Not only do you have keyed up energy (that you are too tired to do anything with), your body feels somehow tired and uptight at the same time.
  • Sleep disturbance; You are experiencing difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep.


Emotional Symptoms Of Anxiety: Exploring The Impact On Feelings

When we feel anxious, we also feel a lot of other feelings, too. Often at the same time. Which is kind of crazy to think about, but it’s true! We can feel opposite feelings for the same thing at the same time. We can feel happy from eating too much pie and still be sad there isn’t any more pie.

Anxiety can cause you to feel bad about yourself. You may find yourself wondering what is wrong with you that you are so worried about things… things that don’t seem like a big deal to others. You might feel crazy or broken.

Some women with anxiety feel inadequate. You can wonder if you are not good enough. This can affect work, relationships or simply adulting. When it looks like other people seem to handle it you are left wondering, “Why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?”

In this struggle, we can feel sad that we have to feel this way at all. You thought you were strong. You thought you were capable. Where did that version of you go?

We can feel all sorts of things when it comes to anxiety. This variety of emotions building upon themselves can create a cycle of feeling anxious and also feeling bad about feeling anxious, which then leads to more anxiety which leads to feeling even worse. This downward spiral can make it difficult to recover from anxiety alone.

Hiker touching rock face in canyon at sunset.

Can Anxiety Make You Feel Sick?

We’ve talked about the emotional impact of anxiety. It turns out it can affect us physically, too. It’s weird to think that an emotion can affect our bodies, but it’s true. Our bodies, hearts, and minds really are connected. We can’t yet measure or map exactly how they are connected but

we can measure that they are connected. Anxiety and symptoms of anxiety may manifest in your body as:

  • upset stomach
  • tense muscles
  • light headedness
  • headaches
  • fast breathing / holding your breath
  • sweating
  • hot flashes
  • a thumping or irregular heartbeat.

What Happens When Your Anxiety And Anxiety Symptoms Get Out Of Control?

Anxiety is out of control when it stops you from doing the things you want and need to do. W all want to avoid things we don’t like. When we actually start avoiding them, it becomes a problem. Anxiety can make our lives very small.

For example, your anxiety may tell you not to go to the party by giving you anxiety symptoms (e.g. dread, worst-case-scenario thinking, upset stomach). When you don’t go to the party, the symptoms go away, and you feel better… Until the next party. If this cycle continues, you may lose friends, don’t make new ones, and are stuck at home without a support system.

For others, the anxiety might tell us we have to perform perfectly, or we’ll get fired. So we stay late and obsess over our work responsibilities, losing time to do our other responsibilities outside of work. Then we get praised by our boss and the symptoms go away… Until the next work project. If we keep doing this, we will soon be exhausted, hate our job, hate our boss, and hate ourselves. This is a recipe for burnout.

Anxiety is out of control when we must make our lives smaller to keep the symptoms under control.
Woman reading book in peaceful outdoor setting.

Therapy the Best Way To Deal With Anxiety And Anxiety Symptoms

Therapy is the best way to deal with anxiety. It teaches us to manage all those awful symptoms. It also teaches us why they showed up in the first place. For many of us, anxiety shows up as protective thoughts that go too hard, too long, in too many areas of our lives. In therapy you learn how to manage or challenge those thoughts.

Once we have this understanding about our thoughts and the needed self-compassion to work with them we can gain tools. We can resolve past pain or trauma that may have influenced current anxiety and tendency towards overwhelm. These insights and strategies for coping become tools. See, you have the solution within you! Your therapist is a knowledgeable professional to guide you into, though and out of anxiety.

Are you ready to reduce your anxiety and remove anxiety symptoms from your life? At Guided Wellness Counseling we specialize in helping women overcome anxiety using a variety of evidence based approaches. Start today by calling our office for a complimentary consultation and book you appointment with a therapist suited to your needs and goals.



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Guided Wellness Counseling

Healing Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma in St. George and all of Southern Utah.

EMDR Therapy and EMDR Consultation Services.

720 South River Road Suite E 103, St. George, UT 84790