4 Things you didn’t know could be caused by anxiety

1) Exhaustion

Do you sometimes feel completely drained without knowing why? Do you often feel like you’ve got no energy to do the things you want to?

Worrying all the time about all sorts of things is exhausting! If you’re feeling fatigue, it might be due to constant worries draining your precious energy. When I say exhaustion, I mean both the physical and emotional sides of it. In fact, physical tiredness with no apparent cause can be a symptom of emotional fatigue.

Other aspects of emotional exhaustion can include not feeling any motivation or drive to do day-to-day things and/or achieving bigger life goals, having trouble concentrating, being absent minded, quick to anger or irritability, and having difficulties getting to and staying asleep.

2) Binging on TV shows

Maybe you’re really excited to watch the new show that’s just dropped on Netflix….

.or maybe you’re trying to distract yourself from worrying about stuff by having a constant source of information coming at you. It could be that you’re trying to focus on the show rather than the worries you have about your life and the people around you.

When you’re anxious, having a distraction ready can be a good way to manage until it passes, but if its used long term as a coping mechanism, its not going to help resolve what’s causing the anxiety.

3) Being overly organised

Being super organised might just be part of your personality, or you might really enjoy coordinating and sorting your things into their proper places. However this is not always the case. If you have noticed lately that you’re putting more and more effort into organising and planning, but aren’t too happy about it, this could be a sign of anxiety.

For some people, control over how things are planned and where stuff goes can be a sign that you are feeling out of control with worry. When we don’t feel that we are in control of our lives, we instinctively do things that help us to get that feeling of control back.

This is called self-regulation; sometimes we self regulate with healthy stuff (crying/listening to music/ moderate exercise) and sometimes not (smoking/alcohol/junk food). For some people, organising their possessions and/or their daily schedule is a type of self regulation.

4) Poor memory recall

Some background info on how our memory works:

There are 3 stages to memory; (1) information gets taken into our brains through our senses, it then needs attention to pass through to our (2) short term memory and then to (3) long term memory. If the information going in (e.g. what we see and hear) doesn’t get enough attention in the moment, it wont be able to be stored into memory and will just disappear (decay).

So if we are anxious or preoccupied about something and thinking about that instead of what’s happening in the moment, we can’t give enough attention to our present moment. This results in our brains not creating memories of what has just happened. Whether it’s being at work, being out and about, or those precious times spent with loved ones.

So if you find yourself not being able to remember much of what has happened during your day, like constantly forgetting what you came into the room for, or not remembering what was said during that conversation you just had, you could be feeling more anxious than you realised.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/emotional-exhaustion#symptoms

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_self-regulation

Atkinson, R.C., and Shriffin R.M. (1968) Human memory: A proposed system and it’s control processes. In Eysenck, M.W., and Keane, M.T. (2005) Cognitive Psychology. East Sussex: Psychology press.

Sexless relationships: more common than you think and ways you can move past it

Research suggests that as many as 3 out of 10 people are in a sexless relationship (Relate, 2018). Whilst it’s important to acknowledge that some people are happy being in a sexless relationship, there are many people who are NOT happy about it!

So why is it so common? And what can be done about it?

Well, it’s complicated! Loss of intimacy in a relationship can happen for lots of reasons… being busy with or being too tired from work, stressful life events, mental health issues, physical health issues, having kids, mismatched sex drives & incompatible sexual desires etc.

Although it’s likely that one of you in particular is the main reason for sex not happening, both parties can feel upset with the situation. The partner wanting more sex might feel rejected, unwanted & unloved by their spouse; they might feel confusion as to why sex isn’t happening, or angry that their basic needs are not being met. The one not wanting sex might feel guilt over not being able to satisfy their partners needs; they might feel ashamed that they can’t perform, and like they are a failure and a let down.

So what can you do if you are unhappy in a sexless relationship? Proactive steps to take:

Communicate

Talk to your partner about how you are feeling… but don’t just blurt it all out and expect it to be problem solved.

Set some time aside to talk. Take it in turns to speak & really listen to what the other person is saying; be honest and respectful in what you say. If it’s hard to talk, try writing it down in a letter or email.

Re-evaluate

Take some time for yourself to really think about the relationship that you have… are you happy with the other aspects of it? Or is something amiss there too? This can really help to figure out if this is an isolated problem or if there are bigger issues at play.

If the relationship is suffering, you will have to decide whether you want to stay and fix things, or to come to terms with it being over and leave.

Then either

Commit…

If you decide that you want to stay and work on the relationship, think about what you both could do to get the relationship back on track; this part really depends on the reasons behind the lack of intimacy for you, but also needs both of you to make the commitment to work on things.

You might decide to seek out couple counselling and/or individual counselling to work through any mental health issues or newly identified problems in the relationship; seeking professional help means things can be worked through in a safe and confidential space.

Make time for intimacy; schedule regular date nights, get a babysitter in, maybe cut back on overtime at work, do whatever you need to do to make some time for each other.

or say goodbye

It can be hard to call time on a relationship, especially if you’ve been together a long time and don’t want to have wasted it on someone who didn’t work out. Ultimately, it’s better to have shorter, happier relationships than longer, miserable ones.

 

References

https://www.relate.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/2018/9/17/over-quarter-relationships-are-sexless)