Worrying, especially when waking up, is starting to affect my life negatively.
Here is my situation. Progressively through the past couple of years, especially in the last year or so, I have started worrying way more than usual. I have nightmares almost every night about the repercussions of my actions, no matter how small. It could be from sending an email to my mother to speaking to someone at work or incidents I have with strangers throughout the day. It doesn't terrify me nearly as much at the time it is happening as it does in my dreams.
For example, if I send an email to a friend from school or work (i am in graduate school and work part time), I wake up and am anxious to check my email, dreading that something I have done, have not done, have said, or have not said, has become a problem or something they are not pleased with. This is totally unreasonable because at times it is just a cordial email saying hello, yet I will still worry over it, especially in my sleep. It has also affected my daily life, since I have not been getting very much sleep and the sleep I do get is after battling with the fear of sleeping because of the nightmares. It doesn't seem like a big deal once I check messages or talk to people throughout the day. It is mainly at night that I can't seem to stop worrying.
Has anyone else experienced this? Is this normal? Could I be going through that so-called quarter-life crisis (I am 24)? I don't understand why the nightmares have been occurring. I've always been nervous around people during the day to a certain extent, but it has never gotten in the way of making and keeping friends, progressing in work, etc.
I am fine during the day, but it is when I am supposed to sleep that the anxiety comes. I would just like to wake up in the middle of the night from a dream and say, "oh, that's neat" and go back to sleep, rather than feel some kind of unfounded dread every time I wake from sleeping.
Any advice would be VERY much appreciated!