How does your anxiety manifest?

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

In another Psychologies Magazine ten question quiz, it looked at what your worry weak spot is.  How anxiety manifests for you can highlight your emotional shaky areas.

The questions covered what you notice changes in you when life gets challenging, your go to stress reliever, how anxiety makes you feel, your priority when you are calm, how others see you when you’re anxious, how you feel when you are most resilient to anxiety, what you do after a period of anxiety, what you are when at your very best, what you lose perspective on when in the throws of anxiety and what you admire about others.

My responses from the four possible choices to each question put me, but only just, into focus being the thing that is most affected by my anxiety.  I’m not an overly anxious person really, I don’t think anyway, but here’s what it had to say:

“When your anxiety levels go up, you mainly struggle to keep all your plates spinning, especially if you normally only manage it by the skin of your teeth.  When your life is built like a house of cards, it doesn’t take much for it to come tumbling down.  Anxiety limits our ability to multitask for a reason – you need a narrow focus when you’re in survival mode. Tasks you normally fly through can take much longer, and you may find yourself stuck in procrastination mode.  You might not immediately attribute your lack of focus to anxiety, and start wondering if it’s time to move on, or question whether you are up to the job at hand. This kind of anxiety is often a first sign of burnout.  If you react by thinking you just need to work harder, you only make it worse.

Right now, you need to lower your expectations of yourself.  Focus on one important task at a time in short chunks, broken up be restorative breaks when you do something different, like enjoy a cup of tea outdoors or by a window.  You mind is telling you that it’s overloaded by are you ready to listen?”

I do have a lot going on most of the time.  I have a full-time job, a full-time hobby, I’m a district officer, and Association officer, and Central Council officer, and have a family. But I like to be busy.  There are times though when I recognise things are getting a little bit on top of me. 

My go to response is usually to shut down and not do any of it terribly effectively, or at all.  Fortunately, these bouts are few and far between, and are usually ended with a burst of efficient productivity.  I will put things off on the grounds that I’m not in the right frame of mind to deal with it right now.  But when I’m back on it, I’m on it with a vengeance. 

I am quite good at breaking tasks down into smaller pieces of work.  My process mapping type brain seems to be able to sort and filter the things that I can do now, and things that are interconnected so make sense to do at the same time, with those things that are not urgent or important, but can wait until I either have everything I need or am in the right frame of mind to deal with it, or the fallout it might generate.

How does your anxiety show up? And how do you recognise when it does?

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