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Anxiety Symptoms 101: Recognizing the Physical and Emotional Signs

You may have heard the term ‘anxiety’ thrown around, but what is it exactly? You might feel anxiety symptoms when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test or making an important decision. But anxiety can also present itself in physical and emotional ways.

How do you recognize the signs and symptoms of anxiety? It can be hard to identify the physical and emotional signs of anxiety when they first start to present. Or, you might be aware of the physical and emotional signs, but may not know what to do about them. This is why in this blog, we will explore what anxiety is, what the physical and emotional signs are, and how you can recognize them.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, or fear about what will happen in the future. This feeling is normal to experience in certain situations, and in small doses, it can even be helpful in motivating us to take action. However, when this feeling becomes constant or intense, it can interfere with our daily lives and activities.
For example, anxiety is helpful when you need to make a quick decision, like avoiding a dangerous situation. But when it becomes overwhelming and constant, in situations like taking a test or making a decision, it can be debilitating.

The Importance of Recognizing Anxiety Symptoms

Image of a woman with her head down in her hands. Showing someone suffering from anxiety symptoms in Reading, PA. Who could benefit from therapy for anxiety treatment.When you are able to recognize your anxiety symptoms, you can take action to manage them. Symptoms come in many forms, and they can be physical or emotional. Knowing the signs of anxiety is important, as it can help you identify when you are feeling anxious, what your triggers are, and what self-care strategies you can use to manage your anxiety.

Knowing your own symptoms can be helpful when you seek anxiety treatment. It gives your anxiety therapist a better understanding of your individual experience. They will be able to better tailor treatment plans or even medication to help reduce your symptoms. For example, if your main symptom is intense fear, they will be able to recommend strategies and techniques that can help you cope with it.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

When struggling with anxiety, you may notice that you experience physical symptoms. Sometimes these can be hard to differentiate from symptoms of other health conditions, so it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional to rule out any other causes. For example, if you struggle with chronic pain or illness, your anxiety may be causing physical symptoms.

Common physical symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or digestive issues
  • Tense muscles

These anxiety symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on the intensity of your anxiety, but they can all be signs that you are struggling with anxiety. Your symptoms can even depend on the type of anxiety you are experiencing. The best way to ensure your physical symptoms are due to anxiety is to talk with a healthcare professional.

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

Just as it causes physical symptoms, anxiety can also cause emotional symptoms. These can be more difficult to recognize, as they are not as visible or tangible as physical symptoms. However, emotional symptoms are just as important to recognize and manage. They can feel overwhelming and can even impact your behavior and daily life. This is why it’s important to know how to recognize them and work on managing them.

Common emotional symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Fear
  • Unease
  • Worry
  • Dread or anticipation of danger
  • Avoidance or feeling like there’s no escape
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Restlessness

Image of a man sitting on a grey couch talking to an anxiety therapy in Reading, PA. Showing what anxiety treatment for anxiety symptoms looks like in Pennsylvania.Emotional anxiety symptoms are just as concerning as their physical counterpoints. These emotional symptoms can be subtle and easy to miss, but recognizing them is the first step toward managing your anxiety. For example, if you notice you are avoiding a situation that makes you anxious, this is a sign of anxiety. Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with worry and fear, this could be an indication of anxiety.

Anxiety can have a serious impact on your daily life, mental health, and physical well-being. For example, it can affect your concentration and your ability to make decisions. This is why recognizing both sets of symptoms— physical and emotional— is so important.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety?

Anxiety can come in different diagnoses and forms. Some of these different forms of anxiety present with different symptom sets. Knowing the difference between them can help you better understand how to manage your own symptoms.

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is when you experience excessive worry about everyday situations. This could be worrying about something that happened in the past or even a future event. For example, you may experience anxiety about an upcoming work meeting or a family gathering. It can include emotions such as fear, dread, or even panic. Or physical symptoms such as headaches, trembling, or racing heart.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety where you experience intense fear or, at times, impending doom. These feelings can be sudden and overwhelming, often resulting in physical symptoms such as a racing heart or shortness of breath. It can often result in panic attacks, which can last for several minutes or longer. For example, you may experience a panic attack if you enter an elevator and are claustrophobic or find yourself in another situation that triggers your anxiety.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is an intense fear of social situations. This fear is often related to the fear of being judged or embarrassed in public. Symptoms can include difficulty speaking, sweating, or feeling like you’re not good enough for the situation. For instance, you may experience anxiety at large functions or even when talking to new people.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety that develops after a traumatic event. This can include physical or emotional trauma, such as a car accident, abuse, or violence. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks to the event, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, anger, and avoidance of triggering situations. It can be often triggered by reminders of the event or situations that are similar to it.

Treatment for Anxiety

Seeking anxiety treatment can help you to accurately identify what type of anxiety you have and learn how to manage your symptoms. There are a variety of treatments available for anxiety. These include talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications. There are also mindfulness techniques and lifestyle changes that may be able to help. The most important thing is finding the right anxiety treatment plan for you.

Image of a woman standing in a filed of yellow flowers as the sun shines brightly. Representing what it can feel like after addressing anxiety symptoms in therapy for anxiety treatment in Reading, PA.Talking with an anxiety therapist can help you to better understand your anxiety and how to manage it. By talking with your therapist, they can help you come up with a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. Furthermore, medications can also be used to help manage the symptoms of anxiety. If you are considering medication, it's important to talk with your healthcare provider about the potential benefits and risks. You deserve to find the treatment plan that works best for you.

Interested in Managing Your Anxiety Symptoms in Reading, PA?

Knowing how to recognize your anxiety symptoms can help you find the best treatment for your anxiety. You deserve to overcome this roadblock and heal from your anxiety. Are you ready to begin your journey? If you are ready to start therapy with an anxiety therapist at Betterview Counseling and Trauma Recovery then follow these steps:

  1. Reach out or call 484-709-1381 to discuss anxiety treatment options
  2. Schedule your first appointment here
  3. Begin your journey today to better understand and manage your anxiety!

Other Therapy Services We Offer in the Reading, PA Area

At Betterview Counseling and Trauma Recovery, we offer a variety of in-person and online therapy services at our practice located in the Reading, PA area. This way we can support you and your family. Besides anxiety treatment, our therapy services include teen counseling, individual therapy for adults, family counseling, counseling for trauma, and therapy for depression. We understand that every individual is unique and therefore we strive to tailor our treatment plans to your specific needs. Our therapists are here to listen, without judgment and with compassion. Ready to take the first step? Contact us today for more information about our therapy services and how we can support you in your mental health journey. We look forward to hearing from you!