Recognize Anxiety

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I look down at my phone and see that I’ve got a new text, yay! And then I notice that it’s from my ex-husband, boo.

I almost immediately get anxiety whenever I have to deal with him. Mostly because of our abusive history, but also because he just is not fun to deal with most of the time. I do anything and everything I can to avoid having to do so. But we have kids together, so completely avoiding him isn’t an option.

In the battle for better mental health, one of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to recognize it quickly.

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The problem with getting anxiety is that it can very quickly spiral out of control.

The sooner you recognize that you’re getting more than a little anxious, the better you’ll be able to combat the effects it has and use various techniques that can help you calm back down.

The key to being less anxious is to notice it as soon as it starts. It’s much easier to calm down when you’re feeling a little stressed and worried then when you’re in the middle of a full-blown anxiety attack.

When it’s happening.

There are two ways for noticing when you’re getting anxious. You want to pay attention to both your mind and your body.

Each will give you clues long before you start to feel out of control. Staying in control and forcing yourself to calm back down is the entire point.

The earlier you can disrupt the feeling of anxiety, the easier it is to break through and stop yourself from spiraling out of control.

You’ll experience both physical and mental symptoms long before you get too nervous and anxious to do anything about it. Before I share with you what to look for, I want you to be aware that it varies from person to person and event to event what you’ll experience.

Sometimes you’ll notice most of these, while you only get a few symptoms here and there at other times. Don’t wait until you show every single symptom before starting to work on alleviating your anxiety.

The physical symptoms of anxiety are:

  • insomnia
  • upset stomach
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • sweating
  • increased heart rate
  • a headache
  • fatigue and weakness
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath

The mental signs of anxiety are:

  • a feeling of dread of fear
  • having a hard time concentrating or having a blank mind
  • feeling high strung and on the alert for danger
  • being tense and unable to sit still
  • being irritable
  • feeling very uncomfortable
  • negative thoughts about what could happen

Again, you won’t feel all of these mental and emotional feelings every time, but they are good signs to look out for.

Pay attention to your body and mind. Recognize these signs of anxiety early and then make an effort to relax and rationalize your fears. Break the vicious cycle and avoid spiraling down into a pit of anxiety.

Once you realize that you may be hit with anxiety, take a deep breath.

I’m serious.

Take a super long and deep breath.

Breath in deep so your tummy expands and releases slowly and intentionally.


When you can recognize the signs of anxiety coming on you’ll be able to better prepare for how to deal with it in the future.

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  1. Hi Kirsten,
    Recognizing the symptoms of anxiety early on is key. Thanks for outlining them here in such a simple and straightforward way.

  2. It’s amazing how some deep breathing can help in so many situations. As often as possible, i. Take it a step further and do 10-20 minutes of meditation as often as possible, with my goal being at least 5 days a week. Good read!

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