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10 Ways Anxiety Presents Itself

by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

Common symptoms of anxiety include racing heartbeat and butterflies in your stomach. However, anxiety can present itself in numerous ways.

  1. Constant worries/dread. You feel anxious nearly all the time, although you may not know why. To help reduce anxiety and stress, aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.
  2. Impaired thinking. You have difficulty forming thoughts, concentrating or learning new things.
  3. Fatigue. Heightened stress hormones can leave you exhausted. Adequate nutrition, hydration and sleep can boost energy.
  4. Irritability/anger. Coping with anxiety can be overwhelming, so you may overreact to situations.
  5. Fear/Terror. You may have irrational fears or an impending sense of doom or danger.
  6. Panic Attacks. These spikes of terror can feel like a heart attack. A few deep breaths can calm you.
  7. Controlling behavior. You try to control situations and people to keep anxiety at bay.
  8. Stomach/digestive upsets. These may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, gas and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  9. Sleep issues. Insomnia, night–mares and night terrors can occur.
  10. Phobia. An exaggerated fear of an object or situation, such as heights, flying or spiders.

If your anxiety interferes with normal life functions, it’s important to seek professional help.


Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

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