Anxiety – What does it look like?

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Anxiety may cause us to behave in ways we normally don’t normally do. Oftentimes these behaviors are a response to a source of anxiety we are not even aware of.

You probably notice your stress levels quickly spike when a child runs out into the street in front of your vehicle or when you find a snake mowing the yard. In these situations, the source of the stress is clear. However, for people that experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder, the source of anxiety or stress can be unclear and negatively affect multiple aspects of their lives.

If you look at the tip of the attached iceberg, you may recognize similar behaviors in yourself, others, or your children that you don’t normally see. Below the surface, you can see some feelings and emotions that may be present that can fuel those behaviors. Frequently, many people are not even aware they are experiencing these feelings or that they may even be related to their present behavior. These negative behaviors sometimes appear to control these underlying feelings, which is not always the most helpful way of dealing with them.

So, what are some of these behaviors that may surface? The graphic below has a list. I find it kind that the title says these are ways a child may behave, but adults may still respond in the same ways. However, adults have probably increased their ability to handle stressful situations over time, so it probably takes a higher level of anxiety before these behaviors emerge.

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