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What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Updated: Jun 8


Everyone experiences anxiety differently, but if you're like most, your brain is constantly thinking about the worst-case scenario. Maybe you'll lose your job or your partner will leave you. Maybe your health will decline and you'll be powerless to stop it. Whatever the case may be, your anxiety always makes you feel like something bad is about to happen — even though you know that isn't true.

You're always bracing yourself

You're on edge. You're waiting for the other shoe to drop. You're bracing yourself for the worst, and you always expect the unexpected. Your mind is always going through scenarios that could go wrong.

You can never stop worrying

  • You're never free from worry.

  • Even when you're not thinking about your anxiety, it's still there, lurking in the background of your mind. You may think that this is just a normal part of life—that everyone worries about things sometimes—but for people with anxiety disorders, it's more than that: It's an all-consuming presence that can take over their whole lives if they let it. And even if you manage to shut out the fears for a while (or at least push them aside), they'll come back eventually and start again.

  • You can't stop imagining the worst possible thing happening (even if it's really unlikely).

You feel panicky

Some of the classic signs of anxiety are panic, feeling like you're going to die, feeling like you're going to pass out, feeling like you can't breathe, and feeling like you're going to scream and run away.

It can also make it difficult for people with anxiety disorders to sleep well at night. This can cause people with anxiety to feel tired during the day or be unable to concentrate if they do not get enough sleep at night.

Your anxiety gets the best of you

It's common for people with anxiety to feel as if their thoughts are out of control. It may feel like your brain is constantly racing, and you can't concentrate on anything else. The anxiety will make it hard to focus on even simple tasks, such as reading or watching television.

Your thoughts may turn into obsessive loops that are difficult to shut off—you might start thinking about the same thing over and over again (like how you're going to die), or you might have a hard time concentrating on one thing at a time (for example: focusing on work instead of worrying about your health).

Everyone thinks you're fine all the time

The thing that makes anxiety so hard is the fact that it doesn't have a physical manifestation, like a broken arm or a bruise. Anxiety is invisible on the surface. People who haven't experienced it often don't understand how much it affects you because all they see are your outward appearances: how you act and speak, how many friends you have, and where you live. The truth is that even if all these things look ideal from an outsider's perspective—you're rich, popular, beautiful—you're probably not fine at all. In fact, being in your shoes may feel worse than being poor or unpopular because of what everyone thinks about you when they don't know any better:

  • They think everything's going well!

  • You must be happy! (Your life looks great on social media)


Sometimes it's hard to explain what anxiety feels like, but I hope this blog can show you that you are not alone! There are so many people out there who feel the same way you do, and even better yet - there are ways to manage it! I hope that by reading this blog you've learned a little bit about yourself and your feelings. I also hope that you know that support is available and don't hesitate to reach out!


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