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06th Sep 2020

5 symptoms of anxiety you might not have been aware of

Anna Rourke

An upset stomach; chest tightness; feelings of dread.

If you’re an anxiety sufferer, chances are you’ll have a specific symptom that lets you know a bout of it is coming your way. But did you know that fidgeting or feeling foggy can also be signs of anxiety too?

We go through so many different sensations throughout the day that it can be difficult to tap into exactly how we feel in a given moment.

Knowing what you’re feeling and why is the first step towards doing something about it, so here are some signs of anxiety that you might not have been aware of.

If you experience persistent feelings of anxiety, make sure you speak about it. You’ll find details of organisations that can help at the end of this article.


Sore muscles

Have you ever sat still and noticed that you were clenching your fists, jaw or shoulders without realising? Anxiety causes adrenaline to run through your body, making your veins constrict. Your muscles are also preparing for fight or flight and so they tense up.



Often this is one someone else will spot before you pick up on it yourself. It occurs because stress hormones are preparing your body for exertion. When you don’t end up exerting yourself, this excess energy has to go somewhere – hence fiddling with an object or jiggling your leg.



If even small decisions like what to eat have you rattled, you might be experiencing anxiety. It can become a vicious cycle as your indecision frustrates you, leading you to feel worse.


Cold hands and feet

You might not be just feeling chilly; it could be anxiety. Again, it’s down to fight or flight – your body is sending blood towards your vital organs and away from your extremities so you’re ready to run.


Feeling foggy-headed

Can’t seem focus or feel like there’s a dense fog in your head? You may be anxious. Anxiety can suppress the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory and information storage. It can also leave you fatigued or leave your stress responses over-stimulated, which can contribute to that foggy feeling.


Anxiety Ireland



1800 80 48 48


Samaritans Ireland