The day-to-day experience of people with anxiety can be different to what other people find ‘normal’. In this article, we put together a series of typically anxious behaviors. Can you spot some of those in yourself?

1. You need to ‘think things through’ but never seem to get anywhere

Overthinking seems to be your favorite hobby. Whether you’re standing in the shower, riding the bus to work or trying to fall asleep. There’s always something you need to think through. Deep down, you know it doesn’t work but you feel you need to do it anyway.

2. Feeling tired is your ‘normal state’

You are on high-alert mode all the time. Obviously, this takes its toll. Feeling chronically exhausted is just as much part of anxiety as are its negative, often repetitive thoughts.

3. It feels like you’re the only person who feels like this

One of the things that hurt the most is this deep feeling of not being understood by the people around you. Ironically, feeling isolated is something that many, many people with anxiety are very familiar with.

4. You seem to worry constantly

It seems like you just cannot ever stop negative thoughts. Even when something good happens, your mind immediately looks for negative implications. Its motto is:

If it’s good it can’t be true. There most be something bad lurking somewhere.

5. Your mind makes up catastrophes

In your mind, you’ve probably lived through more disasters than anyone can count. It’s like your brain immediately comes up with the worst case scenario or explanation to every situation you face.

If your partner or a friend doesn’t call back for a bit, you immediately assume it’s because of you. If you spot an irritated look on another’s face, your intuitive explanation is that it’s your fault. If you hear someone laughing in the background, your first thought is ‘This could be about me’.

6. You ruminate over everything that goes wrong

When you make a small mistake, you know this is going to be all you can think of for the next few days. One slightly awkward conversation will replay in your head, over and over again. An uncomfortable situation will come back many times before you can finally let it go.

7. You avoid even things you’d actually enjoy

Yes. It seems not to make any sense at all. You get stuck in thinking mode even if you’d like to give something a go. Before you try something new, you need to think about it for a good amount of time. Hesitating seems to be part of who you are.

8. Sometimes, what hurts the most is seeing how other people seem not to struggle at all

You feel like life could be so different if it wasn’t for your messed up mind. When you compare yourself with other people, you always come out worse. It just seems as if everyone’s got a better life. You wish that life could be easier.

We think it’s important to end this article with two notes:

Note # 1 for everyone who struggles with anxiety: One thing is true for sure: You are not the only one who experiences life like this. Far from it. Many people struggle. And there are things you can do to make it better.

Note #2 for everyone who wants to lend a helping hand to a friend or family member: Nobody chooses to feel this way. It’s not a simple state to get out of. But even if you think you can’t offer any help — genuine love and care go a long way!

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