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.
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.