Things You Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because of Anxiety

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Things You Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because of Anxiety

Anxiety refers to an intense or extreme form of fear and distress. Although everyone experiences anxiety occasionally, people who suffer from it frequently may have a more serious condition. The clearest signs of anxiety involve the duration of your symptoms. While there are natural remedies for anxiety relief, a person who struggles with anxiety for more than a few weeks or months at a time should seek out mental health treatment

As a center for mental health care in South Florida, we’re familiar with behavior caused by anxiety. If you believe you’ve never had a brush with anxiety, then you may be surprised to learn the things you don’t realize you’re doing because of anxiety.  

9 Things You Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because of Anxiety

If you’ve never talked to your doctor about anxiety or have never been formally diagnosed, there may be things you don’t realize you’re doing because of anxiety. There are certain behaviors associated with anxiety that may come as a surprise to you. 

Purposely Staying Quiet in Group Settings

Especially if you have social anxiety, going out in groups or being in social settings can cause discomfort. A person with anxiety may stay quiet in group settings for fear of being called on or to avoid attention. They may also worry about saying “the wrong thing” or being judged by others. 

Avoiding Eye Contact

Avoiding eye contact is a common type of anxious behavior. Making eye contact can be intimidating to people with anxiety and can even make them feel inferior to others. Eye contact grabs attention, which is what a person with anxiety may want to avoid doing. 

Repetitive Movements

Habits like nail-biting, lip biting, tapping your pencil, shaking your leg, and even checking your phone are repetitive behaviors associated with anxiety. It’s not the behaviors themselves, but rather the comfort they provide. These behaviors are outlets for pent-up energy caused by anxiety and are controlled movements that can keep you calm or calm you during an anxiety attack.

“Spacing Out” or Asking People to Repeat Themselves 

Another one of the things you don’t realize you’re doing because of anxiety is frequently “spacing out” or mentally drifting off during conversations. You may find yourself constantly asking others to repeat themselves. Anxiety can pull the mind in a thousand different directions, making concentration difficult.  

Talking a Lot 

While some anxious people stay quiet in social settings, others tend to talk a lot. A person with anxiety may over-explain things or feel the need to talk a lot in order to compensate for their anxiety. Nervousness can also cause someone to talk a lot. An anxious person may also not want to seem rude or disinterested and may attempt to show their interest by talking. 

Forgetting to Go to the Bathroom or Eat While Completing a Task 

Another behavior related to anxiety is the inability to step away from a task you’re working on. This isn’t just about concentration; a person with anxiety may forget to use the bathroom, eat, or drink water all day because they’re unable to stop what they’re doing. They may feel as if they have to get that task done or they’ll get into trouble or be reprimanded. The anxiety stems from the fear of what will happen if the task is not completed by a certain time. Even if they do have time to finish whatever they’re doing, an anxious person may also think of taking a break as a waste of time. 

Skin Picking

Skin picking is also common among people with anxiety. They may do this because they need something to do with their hands to keep themselves calm or distracted. They may also feel self-conscious about any acne, blemishes, or things on their skin, causing them to pick at them to the point where they’ll bleed. 

Constant Apologies

One of the most common things people with anxiety do is apologize for things that were not their fault or had nothing to do with them. This may stem from feelings of inadequacy or fear of being judged. People with anxiety may be scared to offend someone or say the wrong things. An anxious person may

also feel anxious for someone else. People with anxiety also tend to be hypersensitive to the moods of others, which makes them more likely to apologize or try to compensate when someone else is upset or sad. 


Overthinking is a huge contributing factor to anxiety. Because anxiety can cause a person to feel insecure or be fearful of the opinions of others, they may overthink everything they said in a conversation. An anxious person may re-read text messages over and over again to make sure they’re interpreting the meaning correctly or that their message wasn’t offensive. With a spouse, any sigh of frustration or fluctuation in tone can be huge. Overthinking caused by anxiety expands the smallest things and makes them more serious than they really are.

While these are common things people do because of anxiety, it isn’t a diagnosis. If you believe that you may have an anxiety disorder, then you should talk to your doctor before making any other decisions. 

At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we offer a variety of mental illness services, including anxiety management treatment. If you or a loved one is battling anxiety or another form of mental illness, call us today at 561-220-3981 for more information.

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