Feeling Off? How To Determine What The Problem Is

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated June 22, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Laura Angers, NCC, LPC

Do you ever just feel “blah”? It’s like you’re feeling off, but you just can’t quite put your finger on why. Maybe you just don’t feel like yourself, and it’s an odd feeling, but without knowing what’s causing it, it’s hard to know how to fix it.

This can be a frustrating situation to be in. But it’s something that you can figure out how to move forward from. You don’t have to stay feeling stuck. Speaking with an online therapist can help you get out of this situation and get back to feeling like yourself. 

What Does “Feeling Off” Mean?

There are many different ways that people describe feeling off. It may be that they have low energy and just can’t seem to get motivated to do the things that they normally do. Or, it may be that you just don’t feel like yourself. You may feel a sort of emptiness inside. If you are struggling emotionally, there is emotional support through a therapist and train counselor that can help support your well being whenever you're feeling low.

You haven’t experienced anything out of the normal lately that you can blame the feeling on. It may hit you in the middle of the day. Or, you may just wake up with the feeling.

How To Determine What The Problem Is

Determining why you’re feeling that way isn’t always easy. And it may not be something that you can figure out as soon as you want to. However, there are things that you can do to work on determining where it’s coming from, so you can take the steps that you need to change it.

Consider Any Physical Symptoms That You’re Experiencing

There are many different physical health conditions that can cause you to feel off. It could be that you are having problems with your thyroid, that you’re anemic, or a number of other health conditions.

This is why one of the first things that you should consider doing is thinking about any changes that you’ve noticed in your health recently. It may not be big glaring changes such as being physically ill every day. Instead, it may be things like feeling more lethargic. Or, you may feel dizzy from time to time. Or, your weight is starting to fluctuate.

If you’re able to think of a few possible symptoms that you might be noticing along with feeling off, it can be a wise decision to make an appointment to see your physician. And, even if you don’t have other symptoms that come to mind, it can still be helpful to get in to see your doctor. If you let them know that you’ve been feeling off, they may be able to ask questions to get you considering things that you hadn’t thought of before.

Is There Something Nagging At You?

Another reason that you may be feeling off is if there’s something like stress or worry that is nagging at the back of your mind. It could be something as simple as knowing that there’s an upcoming deadline to get your taxes done or being worried that a friend took something you said the wrong way.

Sometimes it can be easy to allow stress, guilt, and shame to fester in our lives. If this has been going on long enough, you may not even actively be remembering why, but the feeling continues to linger. Eventually, this can lead to you feeling off without really knowing the reason.

Ask Yourself If You’ve Been Anxious

There are many different types of anxiety disorders.  And if you’re struggling with anxiety, it can leave you feeling like you’re not quite yourself. It doesn’t have to be that you have a diagnosable anxiety disorder to deal with this. It could be that you’ve been going through a stressful situation in life, and you just have more anxiety than what you’re typically used to.

Is There A Challenge That You’re Facing?

If you have a big decision to make coming up in your life or a challenge that you’re facing, it may be consuming a lot of your thoughts and attention. This can leave you mentally fatigued, and also impact your physical health. While you might not connect the two things together, it could actually be that “thing” in your life that’s causing you to feel off and not like your usual self.

Are You Unhappy With A Certain Area Of Your Life?

There are many different scenarios of how being unhappy in any area of your life that could cause you to feel off. It may be that you hate your job. It weighs heavily on you day after day because you’re tired of going into work. Or, it may be that you’re starting to realize that the relationship you’re in is not the right one for you.

Change can be difficult, so even if you’re unhappy with a certain area of your life, it may feel like it’s easier to just stick with it. However, doing so can lead to you not feeling like yourself. If you see that there are areas of your life where you’re unhappy and unsettled, look at making changes in those areas to address your mental wellness.

Things You Shouldn’t Do When You’re Feeling Off

Whether or not you’ve pinpointed the reason that you’re feeling off, there are some things that you shouldn’t jump to doing without careful consideration.

Make Major Life Decisions

If you are feeling off, and you don’t know why to avoid making any major life-changing decisions. When things aren’t feeling right for you, it may be tempting to want to start making a lot of changes to see if you can figure out what will make you feel better. But if you start making changes to things that you didn’t need to, you may find that you’re causing new problems for yourself instead of fixing existing ones.

For example, if you’re feeling off and you decide to quit your job or end your relationship, and it turns out that you are really dealing with a physical health problem such as anemia, you may have given up something good in your life without addressing the root cause of why you were feeling bad.

While making a change in a major area of your life may be the thing you need to do when you’re feeling off, it’s not something that you should rush into without careful consideration. One research physician even recommends waiting until your happiness reaches level 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. Always consider the entire picture and explore your options before jumping into action.

Be Overly Critical Of Yourself

Everyone experiences difficult situations and hard times on occasion. If you’re feeling off, it could be something that’s outside of your control. Getting frustrated with yourself and being overly critical may just cause you to feel worse instead of helping you to make necessary changes.

Ignore The Issue

If you notice that you’ve been feeling off, and it doesn’t seem to be going away, don’t ignore the problem. It may be that there is something that you need to do in order to start to feel better.

If you try to ignore the problem, it can end up becoming worse. You may start to struggle with things like anxiety or depression on top of it. You may not always be able to determine quickly what the problem is, but ignoring it is usually not going to make it go away.

Things That Can Help When You’re Feeling Off

Stick To A Self-Care Routine

Self-care habits are very important when dealing with any type of mental health issue, even if it’s just feeling kind of off. Self-care habits can look a little different for each person. It’s important that you find the ones that work the best in your life and help you the most.

When you’re feeling off, you may not feel like doing the things that you know are good for you, but it can be really helpful if you can make yourself do them anyway. Here are some examples of good self-care habits:

  • Getting the proper amount of sleep each night
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Doing some type of physical activity on a regular basis.
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Meditation or yoga
  • Journaling

It’s recommended that you find the things you’re most comfortable with. So, find the things that help you to relax and help to recharge you.

Slow Down

Life can be busy with a lot of people. You may feel like your schedule is full, from sunup to sundown. You may have a calendar packed with work activities and personal get-togethers. But when you start feeling off and like you’re not yourself, it can be helpful to slow down a little.

Look for a few things that you can take off your schedule until you start to feel better. Give yourself time to rest, relax, and recharge. Let go of the pressure of trying to meet everyone’s expectations.

Talk To A Therapist

If you continue to struggle with feeling off, it can be helpful to speak with a mental health professional like the therapists at BetterHelp. Feeling off can be a symptom of a mental health disorder. Or, it may just be a small phase that you’re going through in life. Either way, talking to a therapist may be able to help you work through what you’re feeling and find strategies and solutions to help you start feeling better. Take the first step today through a confidential conversation.

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