Diagnosing mental health conditions can be tricky, especially if you’ve been living with symptoms all your life. How are you supposed to tell if what you’re feeling is just part of being human and what’s part of a larger problem? Do you ignore symptoms until they go away, or should you start seeking out a solution right away?

Luckily there are some common signs of anxiety that you can watch out for. Anxiety can come in varying levels of severity, but the symptoms are generally similar from case to case. The earlier you can spot the signs, the sooner you can take measures that keep your anxiety under control. Pay close attention to the following:

1. Drastic Emotional Changes

When anxiety becomes a significant problem is when it tampers with your emotions. This can compromise your decision making, relationships, and your personal wellbeing. Of course, you don’t want to get to this point, but these are the clearest anxiety red flags to look out for.

If you do notice that anxiety has caused drastic emotional changes in yourself, you’re most certainly not too far gone. You can be helped, and you’re worth all the effort that it takes. There are resources that are both affordable and accessible that can help you out immediately.

Online anxiety treatment is real, and it can help you. You can find options for consultations and treatment of anxiety without leaving your home. Finding the right resources can make a world of difference.

2. Extremes in Appetite

Your emotional state can have a drastic effect on your appetite. Some people eat a lot when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. Others completely lose their appetite and won’t eat at all when anxiety has taken hold of them. Both of these extremes can be indicators for anxiety.

Changes in appetite can be attributed to the hormonal balance in your body. During times of stress and anxiety, the hormone levels in your body are subject to change. Based on how your body responds to these changes, your appetite can increase or decrease.

One of the best solutions for appetite fluctuations is to drink water. This will fill you up if you’re feeling hungry and will help you stay hydrated when food is the last thing on your mind. Fighting anxiety is much more difficult when you’re dehydrated anyhow.

3. Difficulty Sleeping

Anxiety doesn’t always manifest itself clearly during the day. If you have enough distractions around you, you can keep feelings of anxiety at bay for the most part. Lying awake in bed at night, however, can leave you susceptible to feelings of anxiety.

If you have difficulty falling asleep or even staying asleep, this could be a sign of anxiety. The mind of an anxious person is often filled with racing thoughts as they lie awake in the dark. Sleep troubles will only exacerbate symptoms as you try to fight feelings of anxiety and fatigue at the same time.

Proper sleep is important. Look for ways to calm down before getting into bed, like drinking a small cup of warm tea or turning on some white noise. Avoid electronic device use too late at night, as the blue light can make it difficult to fall asleep regardless of anxiety symptoms.

4. Nervous Tics

Some signs of anxiety are completely subconscious. You won’t necessarily notice things like nervous tics unless you’re actively looking for them. Now is the time to stop for a moment and think about any repetitive actions you might take. You may even be doing one as you’re reading this sentence.

Many tics originate in the hands and fingers. Do you tap your desk rapidly while you study? Do you play with your hair during times of stress? These could be signs of underlying anxiety as your mind and body try to cope with strained mental health.

Tics come in all shapes and sizes and are often unique to the individual. Anything from cracking your knuckles to tapping your foot could be an anxiety-induced tic. If you notice yourself repeating the same action over and over, this could be a tell-tale sign.

5. Inability to Focus

People suffering from anxiety often have racing thoughts bouncing around their heads. This makes it difficult to keep focused on one thing at a time. Anxiety can lead you to shift from task to task, a symptom also associated with disorders such as ADHD.

This lack of focus can be both inefficient and exhausting. Several projects will be left half-finished even though you feel like you’ve been working on them tirelessly. All of those unfinished tasks can snowball into even greater feelings of anxiety. This is a vicious cycle that we want to avoid.

The right prescription recommended by a medical professional can help with focus and attention. Efforts you can make include creating better schedules and to-do lists to follow and even incentivizing yourself to complete unfinished projects.

You may have to deal with anxiety your entire life. That doesn’t mean you have to tough it out on your own. Spot the signs and look for solutions right away so you can live your best life without anxiety getting in the way.