What Anxiety Really Feels Like

what anxiety feels like

It comes out of nowhere. You’re going about your day, when suddenly you feel it coming on. It’s getting harder to breath. Your heart is racing, your hands are getting hot and your chest is tightening. Your head’s getting foggy and you can’t think straight. The room is closing in on you, and in the middle of all this chaos, you’re trying to act ‘normal’.

The worst is when it happens around people. Do you excuse yourself? Or try and hold it together hoping it passes quickly? Anxiety can be awkward and is hard to explain to someone who has never suffered like that before. I usually just try to breath and hope it passes quickly and hope I don’t look too awkward.

As if life isn’t hard enough, anxiety is like being in a constant battle with yourself. You want to do the things and live your life, but your mind says ‘no you don’t’. So instead you live with the weight of worry and fear. You cancel the plans, you avoid the situations, you don’t take the risks. You miss out. And, you wonder what life is like without this heavy burden that makes life so damn hard some days. Anxiety is a real B$TCH! But I am not!

This post is out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to share it because I know I’m not the only one feeling these things. I’ve also included my self care checklist with things that are proven to improve mental health! They’ve really, massively helped me and I’m hoping they’ll help you too!

What’s ‘Normal’ Anyway?

It’s normal to get a little anxious from time to time, but people who suffer from anxiety disorder have uncontrollable feelings of worry that ultimately affects their day to day lives. It’s… awful!

It Makes Me Look Like A Mean Girl

I usually have a bitch face on, and don’t even realize it! Sometimes I ‘check out’ mentally and it’s super annoying cuz I want to be a part of the conversation but I can’t focus enough to join in. If I do join in and manage to speak up, and that’s a big if, I’ll usually end up saying something that doesn’t make total sense and then go home and worry about it for the next 3 years. So I prefer to just stay quiet and wind up looking very unapproachable instead ugh! Hence the mean girl title!

I can see you talking, but can’t even hear the words you’re saying. My anxiety is causing my mind to race a mile a minute.

It feels like the room is closing in on me. I’m over-thinking about how overwhelming this is and jumping to conclusions about what you’re thinking about me. I’m probably intimidated by how confident you seem and I’m wishing I could be so comfortable. 😕 How nice it must be for this all to come so naturally for you. How nice it must be to not have anxiety.

You’ll Only Understand If You Have Anxiety

When I don’t come across as rude I can come across as an awkward, babbling idiot that cuts people off when they’re talking. Not because I don’t care what you’re saying, it’s cuz I’m so anxious I can’t shut the erf up! Anxiety is something awful! Then, people are shocked to hear I have anxiety because I seem out-going! Little do they know how I actually feel!

I’m usually fiddling with something in my hands. This way I have something else to focus on in order to distract me… not from you, but from me. The mind is such a powerful thing, and your thoughts and feelings are literally everything.

I also have a tendency to cancel plans if I’m having a bad day. It’s not that I don’t want to see you. I do, but the thought of going to a social event drains me. Then, I fear that I’ve cancelled on you too many times and you’ll give up on our friendship! Don’t give up! Eventually, I’ll come around.

Sometimes I’d honestly rather be known as a mean girl, than have to explain my anxiety.

I have plenty of good days too, where I’m ‘normal’ish lol 😂 it’s not all bad! Here are some things that help me feel better!

Think You Have Anxiety? Here Are Signs You’re Right

  • Sense of impending doom and danger, leading to panic
  • Nervousness and tense feeling you can’t shake.
  • Racing heart.
  • Finding it hard to take a deep breath.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sweaty palms.
  • Blushing face.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Trouble concentrating.

My Self Care Checklist For Mental Health

happily ever after sign

Everyone says talking about it helps, but talking about my anxiety doesn’t really help me much to be honest. Self care and mental health are absolutely connected. Here’s what does help me and hopefully you too!

I’ve discovered a few things that help me get through the tough times. Obviously talk to your doc before taking any medication or vitamins… I’m no doctor!!

Self Care Checklist

Vitamins For Mental Health:

Vitamin D. My doctor has told me that there’s a link between low vitamin d levels and increased anxiety and depression, which makes sense cuz January is a really tough time for many anxiety sufferers. So I started taking vitamin D supplements and I’ve noticed a little impact on my mood;)

Vitamin B Complex. I had blood work reveal i was deficient in some of the b vitamins which was part of the reason why I was feeling so down and crappy! Started taking a B vitamin complex and it is definitely helping my mood!

Self Care Mental Health

Self care:) This has the greatest short-term effect on my mood! A little retail therapy, a box of chocolate covered cherries or dinner and a movie with friends all helps me so much! But, sometimes I go a little overboard and eat an entire tub of ice cream or spend $400 at Atlas Divine and almost immediately regret my decisions… So it is all about balance!

Get Outside. The Power Of The Great Outdoors

Being outdoors has so many benefits, from improving mental focus to boosting your mood! How do you feel when you go for a walk in the sunshine? Happy? The sun helps your body produce vitamin d, which naturally boost serotonin levels- an instant pick me up!

Check out the full story and find out why the outdoors can really boost your mental health, here – The Power Of The Great Outdoors.

Exercise | Meditate | Sleep

Make sure to take care of your physical body. Exercise and meditation have major impacts on your mental health and overall mood!

Oh and sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep! Good sleeping habits are life changing when it comes to your mental health- anxiety and depression. Even during a good streak, after a bad night’s sleep – I’m an anxious mess!

BUT even with the vitamins and self care, if you still have ups and downs you might want to talk to your doctor about prescription medication. Don’t be afraid to get help. There’s still a stigma around mental illness. We fear people will think we are weird or violent if we come out with our anxiety or depression. Don’t let those fears stop you from getting better!

If you have anxiety, depression, ptsd, bi polar or any mental health issues follow along and know you’re not alone:) I’m over here suffering too!

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Steph Social

I’m Steph, a former journalist from Canada 🇨🇦 I created Stephsocial.com to share blogging, branding, marketing, and lifestyle tips with you!
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  1. ♡ ↠ ₳mberJayde Reads ↞ says:

    Self love and a little grace go a long way. You’re allowed to be human, you’re allowed to have flaws and most of all you are entitled to have your shit days as much as your good ones. Keep smiling 🙂 ♡

    1. britbingold says:

      I really related to your post. I had such a Monday today and really just wanted to say, look I am tired, chronically ill, and I am allowed to just have really crap days! I am anxious mess sometimes too! Loved your post title as well.

  2. Jennifer N. says:

    Thank you Stephanie for your openness and for sharing your story! I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder back in 1994 and have been on anxiety medicine for the majority of time since the diagnosis. It helps to know there are others out there that are fighting the stigma!!

  3. Hi Steph thanks for stopping by and for the follow. I think if we were all to be honest, most of us have suffered from some form of anxiety or depression at some time in our lives. I know I have, and yes there are many things we can do to help ourselves. So I’m speaking to you as one who has suffered from depression which showed it’s face when I came down with chronic autoimmune issues. So I’m no professional in anyway. You are doing all the right things, but if I were you I would watch your sugar intake as apparently it also depresses the system……for me it (sugar) causes pain, so I don’t use sugar. Exercise is also know to help and I’m not sure if you’re a Christian, but having a great belief system I find to be a great help…..actually my biggest and longest help. Thanks for the follow, and I hope you will stop by often and find some of the posts I have written on anxiety or.depression.

  4. I have had 60 years of anxiety and panic attacks. Being a 24/7 caregiver to my husband, means that I don’t have time to deal with it now. I stay well because I have to.

  5. Anxiety has so many faces and often stems of our fear of others. What they think of us, if they accept us, if we are worthy, of we belong, are popular enough and on. But what about yourself? Sometimes I think we are also very tough on ourselves, and at times we have unreasonable expectations of ourselves. Could that be adding to our anxiety? Don’t forget to be patient with yourself, to love yourself and to give yourself a break. You deserve it. Hugs

  6. love your honesty in this post – i 100% agree with you, and anxiety is so difficult but you’re right, we aren’t alone! x

  7. I loved this. I relate so much. So many people assume I’m mean, but anxiety can really take hold of your emotions. Thanks for a great post!

  8. I can relate to so much of this too! Self care definitely helps and I may look into taking more vitamins too. Like you say, it’s good to know we are not alone 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for sharing.
    I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression since I was a teen as well. I can relate so much to this.

  10. i related so much to this, my anxiety sometimes keeps me from leaving my room let alone my house. so thank you for sharing

  11. Nice post! I also struggle with anxiety and relate to much of your experience.

    1. Thank you! This is why I write… to relate 🙂

  12. lauraslife123 says:

    You’re not alone. I’m a fellow Anxiety sufferer. I can totally relate to everything you have said. Self care really is important as is getting enough sleep and eating well. I take medication too and very open about it. Hopefully one day there won’t be any stigma x

  13. […] Anxiety Makes Me Look Like A Mean Girl […]

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