Weird Things My Anxiety Makes Me Do
Anxiety is weird.
It’s basically an imbalance in hormones in your brain. Our minds and body are closely linked so it makes sense that this hormone imbalance can result in some very real physical symptoms. The normal physical symptoms you can experience are:
These can cause a cycle of anxiety themselves. You know that the symptoms are related to Anxiety but when you experience them, you worry about them, which makes the anxiety worse, which makes the symptoms worse.
A lot of people aren’t aware of the ways anxiety can affect your body (as well as your mind). The more I learn about my Anxiety, the more I realise that I do some weird stuff and it can be traced back to my Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Some of the weird things my anxiety makes me do, are:
Have Random Dizzy Spells.
I mostly get these when I’m in new situations or environments. I tend to zone out and go into a weird daydream then the room starts slowly turning and I feel disorientated. It’s hard to explain and sounds much more terrifying than it feels nowadays. I guess I’m used to the dizzy spells!
Fidget With Anything.
Right now, I have one 10 baht coin from Thailand that I keep in my jacket pocket and fiddle with that unconsciously throughout the day. I didn’t think “oh this is nice to fidget with, I’ll choose this”, it was more subconscious and now it’s weirdly comforting to have it in my pocket 🤷♂️ Other fidget favourites include pens, bottle caps or anything ‘smooth’ really!
Pluck Out My Beard Hair
Now, my beard-game is strong but I have a habit of pulling out hairs between my chin and my bottom lip. I never used to do this until about 2 years ago (before that I was just biting the inside of my cheeks - I do both now 😂). I’m not sure why I do it but there is a thing called Trichotillomania which could be the reason (I just know that when I’m anxious, I catch myself doing it more).
Have Sensory Overload
This could be tied to my introverted side but loud noises make me super antsy. If someone talks to me and they’re on the verge of shouting, I can’t help but wince. I’ve even told Scott to use his inside voice countless times 🙈. I think cinemas play movies too loud, people who make noises when they eat are out to irritate me and loud exhausts on cars and bikes should be banned 😂 I’m just a quiet guy who likes his quiet time.
Refuse to Make Phone Calls
A common one for those with anxiety. Even if I need info urgently, I’d email them instead of picking up the phone. If I really need to phone a company etc, I’ll have to psych myself up for a few days then practice what I’ll say, then eventually make the call once I’ve had a coffee and usually when I’m alone 😅. It seems weird to freak out over something simple but that’s anxiety! I get heart palpitations, sweats, antsy and flushed whenever it comes to making a call. Such a pain.
My memory is absolutely shocking. To the point that I convince myself that I have very early onset Alzheimer’s. After speaking about this, I realised its much more common in the anxiety community than I thought. We spend so much time on auto-pilot and talking to ourselves in our heads about worries and stress, that life can literally pass by before we realise. Focusing on controlling our anxiety all the time can stop us from being mindful and “living in the moment” and we don’t actually remember it. I’ve heard that medications can help fix this but i’ll need to speak to my doctor about it. For now, I’ll keep Scott around to prompt me with his amazing memory.
Sometimes this goes hand in hand with the Sensory Overload I mentioned before. Small repetitive noises make me irrationally angry and I’m not an angry guy - people tend to think I’m laid back and chill (which is a nice reputation to have!) but sometimes, I get ‘hot flashes’ of anger over small things. I’ve mentioned this on Reddit and The Mighty and a lot of people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder have this too. We think it’s a result of internalising a lot of our thoughts and worries 24/7, which makes us reach out limit quickly and makes it seem ‘out of the blue’ when we eventually lose our cool and get angry.
This is a bad habit of mine but I think it’s anxiety-related. GAD means I’m constantly thinking about possible outcomes to everything I do or each situation I’m in. Having a brain that doesn’t ‘switch off’ means it’s easy to lose focus and start concentrating on multiple things at once. I’ve found that I do this when it comes to business too - I write something on my to-do list and immediately add 10 more relating to that one thing. It’s like one thought or task is a tree branch and I think of multiple branches stemming from that one branch. I’m probably not explaining it right but OH LOOK something shiny.
This is something I’ve noticed recently. I get in The Zone and start obsessively tidying the house and making sure everything is in it’s place. When the house is tidy and I have a clean/organised environment, I can think clearly. With Anxiety, we lack control so keeping things neat and tidy takes back some of that control and feels slightly comforting.
I remember when I was younger, I used to move the furniture around my room ALL the time. I 100% think that if my mind is messy, my environment is messy too. That’s why I tend to organise my surroundings and keep my workspace really clean/tidy. I noticed this when I worked in an office too - if I was having a stressful time, my desk was a mess so I tried to keep it as tidy as possible to help de-stress ✌
Pee All The Time.
I’m constantly going to the toilet. When we were travelling from Malaysia to Singapore, we were on a long bus ride without a toilet so it was my worst nightmare. I ended up holding in a pee for HOURS and was in so much pain when we eventually stopped at the border. After I went the toilet, I almost immediately had to pee again 🤦♂️. ‘Frequent Urination’ is a common symptom of anxiety but drinking coffee, beer or any other diuretic can make it 10x worse. The Internet seems to think that this symptom relates to our Fight or Flight response (which kicks in when we have anxiety). The idea is that it’s easier to run away if you have an empty bladder and pee can repel your attackers. I’m not sure if peeing your pants would help with stage fright though so my body needs to get it’s sh*t together.
That’s a quick insight into the weird ways Anxiety affects my body. If anything, the symptoms reiterate the connection between the mind and body.
If you have anxiety, I’m interested to know any weird symptoms you have!
Go make today a good one & be your best self 💚
P.S - If you liked this, I’d really appreciate if you share it (on FB, IG, PT or any other Social Media Acronym you can think of). Thanks!