It can be really easy to dismiss anxiety as "being worrisome" or "tired" or "having your period". But sometimes your anxiety isn't symptomatic of some other kind of condition. It's just anxiety, and that's OK. You don't have to excuse feelings of anxiety as something else, which I think is something that women especially are conditioned to do because that kind of mental state, when gendered, is seen as emotional weakness. So if you're brushing off your anxiety as not important or something you don't have to address, consider that maybe you're actually more anxious than you're letting yourself believe you are.
Anxiety can be triggered by events in your life, or you can just feel it in your body for no particular reason. It can sneak up on you when life is great and you least expect it. It's a condition that's entirely indiscriminate when it visits you. If you're having serious anxiety you should take it seriously, and not try to brush it off in a bid to seem "brave" or "strong". What's brave and strong is acknowledging something is up and taking steps to make it better. Those steps might be as simple as getting more exercise or as important as seeing a doctor. Here are some signs you might be more anxious than you think:
1. Trouble Sleeping
You might think you're anxious because you're tired, but if you're struggling to fall asleep at night, that could be a sign of anxiety itself. Tossing and turning and intermittently waking up throughout the night are signs of a stressed mind.
2. Headaches On The Weekend
If you're trying to relax but have a giant headache, it might be a sign that during the week you're more anxious than you think you are. A sudden drop in stress levels can bring on migraines — and I'm not suggesting adding stress to your weekend, but you might want to consider your mid-week anxiety and how to minimize it.
3. Muscle Tension
Clenching muscles can be a sign of anxiety, and often does unnoticed as long term sufferers stop noticing that they're doing it. Scan your body and see if you're clenching your jaw, holding your shoulders up by your ears or generally keeping tightness pent up anywhere in your body. Exercise can help relieve this, or if you really want to go out, treat yourself to a massage.
4. Extra Bad Period Cramps
A Harvard Study has found that anxiety can give you extra bad period cramps, so if you start having worse than usual pain, consider anxiety might be the cause (although it could be something physical to so be sure to get checked out by your OB/GYN!).
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Being anxious can have some serious physical manifestations. For instance, you might experience IBS, including stomach aches, gas, bloating and cramps. Listen to what your body is telling you. You might be feeling crappy in your guts because of something happening mentally.
6. Weird Dreams
While sleep might be difficult for the anxious, crazy dreams can also be a sign that in waking life you're more anxious than you think. Having a disrupted sleep cycle can often lead to wild dreams, so getting your anxiety in check is a self fulfilling prophecy.