Feeling Weird? Why It Happens & How to Cope

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
Explore the physical and mental reasons you might be feeling "off"Are you feeling weird or off but can't put your finger on why? Maybe you're fatigued, nervous, or on edge, but you can't think of a reason for these feelings. It's...
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Are you feeling weird or off but can’t put your finger on why? Maybe you’re fatigued, nervous, or on edge, but you can’t think of a reason for these feelings. It’s completely normal to have an “off” day once in a while, and it’s usually not a cause for concern. Identifying the reasons behind these feelings can help you cope with them and take steps to feel better. We’ll take you through reasons you might be feeling weird, from emotional and mental factors to physical causes. We’ll also go through a list of things you can do to address these things and start feeling more like yourself again.

Things You Should Know

  • If you’re feeling weird or off, it could be due to stress, anxiety, or social burnout.
  • Physical factors like lack of sleep, hunger, or dehydration may also be factors.
  • Listen to your body to identify possible mental or physical causes behind the weirdness you’re feeling and address them.
Section 1 of 2:

Why do I feel weird?

  1. Step 1 You’re experiencing anxiety.
    Anxiety is a common reason you might not be feeling like yourself.[1] Anxiety disorders can cause a wide range of mental and physical symptoms, from feeling restless or on edge to feeling weak or tired.[2] If you’re experiencing some of the following symptoms, anxiety may be the reason you’re feeling off:
    • Increased heart rate or rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
    • Sweating or trembling
    • Feeling weak, tired, or fatigued
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Stomach upset or gastrointestinal problems
    • A sense of impending danger or doom, even though there’s no reason to feel this way
    • Feeling restless, nervous, tense, or stressed out
    • Trouble thinking or concentrating on things[3]
  2. Step 2 You’re stressed.
    When you’re stressed, your “fight or flight” response gets triggered, which can cause a number of physical and mental symptoms.[4]

    Physical symptoms include aches and pains, increased heart rate, exhaustion, headache, dizziness, shaking, muscle tension, and stomach issues. Mental symptoms include anxiety, irritability, sadness, and depression.[5]

    If you’re experiencing these symptoms, stress could be the reason you’re feeling weird. Major life changes like moving, switching jobs, or going through a breakup increase stress levels, so if you've experienced any of these things lately, it could be another clue that stress is to blame.[6]
  3. Step 3 You’re socially burnt out.
    If you’re an introvert, too much social interaction can leave you feeling drained. This is sometimes called introvert burnout or introvert hangover.[7] If you’re feeling off after a long period of socializing (like going on a trip with friends or attending a lot of family gatherings over the holidays), social burnout could be a factor. Here are some signs to look for:
    • Low energy or fatigue, especially when trying to socialize
    • Feeling mentally unwell, overly emotional, or overly reactive/sensitive
    • Feeling extra irritable or anxious
    • Feeling detached from other people[8]
  4. Step 4 You’re tired.
    Sometimes the reason you’re feeling weird is a simple lack of sleep. Adults typically require at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night.[9] If you’re not getting this amount, or if your sleep quality is declining, you could experience several physical and mental symptoms.[10]
    • These include fatigue, irritability, trouble thinking or focusing, and headaches.[11]
  5. Step 5 You’re hungry or thirsty.
    Hunger and thirst also cause symptoms that could make you feel off. If you haven’t eaten enough, you may feel light-headed, weak, shaky, grumpy, or irritable.[12] Dehydration can cause similar symptoms, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps.[13] If you notice any of these, hunger or thirst could be behind your discomfort.
  6. Step 6 You’re experiencing a physical ailment.
    If you’re experiencing physical symptoms that don’t seem to be related to anxiety, tiredness, hunger, or thirst, you might be dealing with an illness or injury. Low-level, persistent physical pain can leave you irritated or drained, which could be the reason you’re feeling weird.[14]

    It can be stressful to not feel at your best physically. If you’re getting over a cold or recovering from a minor injury like a sprain or pulled muscle, it’s normal to feel a bit off.[15] Once you recover physically, you’ll likely go back to feeling like yourself!
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Section 2 of 2:

What can I do to feel better?

  1. Step 1 Listen to your body.
    Take a minute to assess your bodily sensations. Are you noticing hunger cues? Are you feeling symptoms of sleep deprivation? Pointing out the specific sensations you’re feeling can help you identify and address them. Sometimes, a quick snack or a good night’s sleep are all you need to feel better.

    If you’re experiencing hunger cues like lightheadedness, weakness, irritability, growling stomach, or fatigue, try eating a nutritious snack or meal.[16]

    If you’re noticing signs of dehydration like dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, dry mouth, or darker colored urine, drink some water and make an effort to stay hydrated.[17] Adults need at least 11.5 cups (for women) or 15.5 cups (for men) of water per day.[18]

    If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as tiredness, fatigue, irritability, or trouble thinking or focusing, try to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep.[19] Remember, the quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep you get![20]
    • To improve sleep quality, try to set a consistent sleep schedule (go to bed and wake up at the same time each night and morning).
    • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature.
    • Limit the use of electronic devices before bed.
    • Avoid caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime.[21]
  2. Step 2 Practice mindfulness.
    Mindfulness involves focusing on what you’re feeling in the present moment without judging yourself. It can be a helpful tool to reduce the symptoms of stress or anxiety.[22] Try out mindfulness meditation to reconnect with your body and stop feeling weird.[23] Here’s how to do a body scan meditation:
    • Start by taking in your setting and environment. Look around and remind yourself that you’re safe at this moment.
    • Take deep, long breaths, and exhale slowly.
    • Bring your attention to your body. Close your eyes if this helps minimize distractions for you.
    • Try to zero in on the bodily sensations you’re feeling. Notice where your body is seated, feeling the support of the floor or the chair you’re sitting on.
    • Bring your attention to one area of your body at a time—arms, hands, legs, feet, stomach, neck, throat, jaw—noticing any tension or tightness and trying to soften them as you come across them.
    • After moving through these areas of your body, notice your whole body, present and relaxed. Take one more breath and slowly open your eyes.[24]
  3. Step 3 Practice self-care.
    When you’re feeling off, it’s important to make an extra effort to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care can look different for everybody, but it comes down to doing the things that comfort and nourish you.[25] For you, this might mean having a cozy night in watching your favorite movie or TV show. It could mean spending time in nature, or connecting with supportive friends or family. Whatever brings you joy and makes you feel at peace!
  4. Step 4 Journal about your feelings.
    If you’re dealing with stress or anxiety, journaling can be a cathartic practice. It provides an outlet for any pent up negative thoughts, and it can help you process difficult emotions while also getting to know yourself better.[26]

    There are many different ways to journal, but freewriting is a simple way to get into journaling if you’re a beginner.
    • To start, set a timer for 15 minutes.
    • Try to write about your thoughts and feelings until the timer is up. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or writing something profound—just write about how you feel without judging yourself.
    • When the timer goes off, read what you wrote. You may notice feelings and connections you weren’t aware of before![27]
  5. Step 5 Get some alone time.
    If you’re feeling off due to social burnout, schedule some alone time. Whether it’s 30 minutes at the end of each day, or a few hours each weekend, use this time to rest and recharge. You can read a book, journal, meditate, go on a walk—whatever your heart desires.[28]

    It may be helpful to set boundaries with the people in your life to protect your alone time. Simply let friends or family members know that you need time to yourself on a regular basis to be healthy and happy, and this has nothing to do with how much you love them.

    Remember, needing alone time is not selfish! Everyone needs a minute to themselves sometimes. Plus, alone time has many benefits. It encourages independence, reduces self-consciousness, relieves tension, and provides you with an opportunity to self-reflect.[29]
  6. Step 6 Talk to a professional.
    If you’re overwhelmed with anxiety or stress symptoms, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to deal with these feelings on your own, and it’s completely normal to need a bit of help.

    Reach out to a mental health professional to get some care for your symptoms. Therapy can help you identify possible triggers and causes of your anxiety, so that you can address and overcome them.[30]

    Ask a trusted friend or family member for a referral if they work with a therapist, or check out online directories to choose the right therapist for you.[31]
  7. Step 7 Make sure there’s no physical condition at the root of your symptoms.
    If you’re experiencing symptoms that don’t appear to be anxiety or stress related, or that don’t resolve after implementing relaxation techniques, reach out to your primary care physician for a check-up.[32]

    Your doctor can help you make sure there’s no underlying physical reason that you’re feeling weird. For example, conditions like anemia, vitamin D deficiency, or thyroid irregularities could cause you to feel fatigued or “off,” and treating these conditions may relieve your symptoms.[33]
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