When you think of anxiety, what do you picture? If you’re anything like most people, you might be thinking of hyperventilation, panic attacks, and an inability to function that forces you to stay in bed all day. Close enough? This is the image most of us have, and yet anxiety can be far sneakier in how it attacks us. Hidden anxiety is what this discussion is about today. Do you have hidden anxiety signs?
Women and symptoms of hidden anxiety
As women, particularly females in positions of power or influence, there is a huge pressure to always appear strong, in control, and unflappable – and you are! However, this can mean that you end up brushing aside symptoms of anxiety, writing it off as “I’m a bit on edge today” or “I’m a bit tired.”
You may have anxiety without even knowing it, and continuing to brush off hidden anxiety signs is not a sustainable way of living. To deal with anxiety effectively, it’s important to first recognize it, even if the symptoms aren’t as drastic as you might expect of them.
Hidden anxiety signs: 1. Insomnia
Being unable to sleep properly is one of the key signs of hidden anxiety. Sure, if you are kept awake for one or two nights, it might simply be because of short-term stress.
However, if the symptoms continue and you find yourself going several nights in a row without sleep, or weeks, or months, now is the time to fully address the issue. There are many ways to treat insomnia, including sleeping pills, meditation, and herbal recipes – and the latter two things may also help address any underlying anxiety-related causes as well.
If you do sleep on the regular, do you ever wake up feeling like you’ve been grinding your teeth all night? Your jaw might feel sore and achy.
Believe it or not, this feeling isn’t just because you’re having bad dreams. It’s a specific condition called bruxism, and it can be caused by high levels of anxiety.
Grinding your teeth like this can have many consequences, including migraines, lockjaw, and increasingly poor dental health as your teeth wear away from the stress. Fortunately, teeth grinding treatment exists, and different techniques can help you mitigate this symptom while also helping to lower your hidden anxiety signs at the same time.
3. Over or under eating
Firstly, never feel guilty about the amount you eat, whether it is a tiny amount or if it overflows your plate. Secondly, learn to recognize when your eating habits may be reflecting underlying stress that you have not consciously registered yet.
Often, your body will know what it needs before your mind does, and it will deal with anxiety by urging you to reject or consume food in high amounts. Being able to see when this is happening is a great step towards acknowledging and managing both your mental and physical health.
It’s too easy to blame yourself for being irritable. You might apologize to others if you’ve snapped at them, and start thinking of yourself as a mean person. In fact, irritability is one of the common symptoms of hidden anxiety.
Being irritable doesn’t make you a horrible person! It likely means that you are overworked and overstressed, and so your brain is taking that out on both yourself and those around you. To deal with this situation, learn some breathing exercises, and trace the problem to its root – your hidden anxiety.
Related post: An Open Letter to Anxiety
Have you heard of the signs of hidden anxiety before?
18 thoughts on “4 hidden anxiety signs, including bruxism”
Definitely struggle with all of these!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend ahead, Stephanie. With self awareness can come healing, so it’s a big first step that you see yourself in these signs. xx
I have had most of these symptoms at different times, but I always attributed them to hormones. I suppose I may actually have some anxiety issues.
It’s possible, Amy. Your doctor can help you if you feel you want to learn more about what’s happening in your case. Sometimes I haven’t realized how much anxiety has reduced my quality of life in the past, and it can be life-changing to find out and seek assistance. Stay safe out there xx
I didn’t know about these and I have one So, that has been well and truly hidden! Thanks, Christy. <3
So glad this information is helpful to you, Jane! xx
women are masters at masking anxiety and a lot of other things too…whether guilt, exhaustion, and societal pressures just to name a few.
We must take better care of ourselves.
So true about masking things… Well said, Faye.
Very informative. After reading this, I gave up and acknowledged that my doctor’s diagnosis is correct. I DO ha htve anxiety. Prior to reading the article, I asked, “What do I have to be anxious about?” and would tell myself, “Nothing.”
Rae, believe me when I say that looking at ourselves is much tougher than looking at others and making observations. It’s easy to tell ourselves something different than is happening to us…
I have most of the things you mention, but would not own up to being anxious. It must be well and truly hidden!
It’s the invisibility of mental illness – to others and to one’s own self!
Funnily enough, I have been called ‘mental’ on occasion. Maybe they were right!
You are “mentally aware” ;)
a much better way of putting it!