The Most Common Effects of Anxiety on the Body
Are you struggling with excessive stress and anxiety? Or perhaps think you may be struggling with an anxiety or panic disorder? You’re not alone. We all go through various phases of stress and anxiety from time to time, but if yours doesn’t seem to go away and interfere with your day-to-day activities, you may, in fact, be facing an anxiety that requires treatment. Regardless of where you are on the stress to panic spectrum, it’s important to first recognize and understand your symptoms.
The symptoms mentioned below are, of course, not an all-inclusive list of possible symptoms. Anxiety affects each of us in different ways, but some of the most common are listed below. We’ll take a look at various ways anxiety may affect your nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems.
Anxiety and Your Nervous System
If you struggle with anxiety, then you may also experience anxiety attacks or panic attacks. Both anxiety and panic attacks cause the brain to release stress hormones, which also increase your chance of experiencing depression, headaches, dizziness and more.
When you feel anxious, or even just stressed, your brain is flooded with hormones designed to respond to any threats you may be facing. The fight or flight syndrome is a natural, innate response. The problem is that if this happens over a long period of time you may also experience additional serious physical ailments and worsened anxiety.
There are many ways to combat the physical effects of anxiety to your nervous system: meditation, music, breathing techniques, etc. One of my most-recommended methods to help you combat these feelings, is to find support from a pet or support animal. Learn more about the benefits of support animals in this emotional support animal how-to guide. Simply spending time around a furry pet can do amazing things for your mental health!
Anxiety and Your Cardiovascular System
Anxiety affects your cardiovascular system by causing a rapid heart rate, chest pain, excessive sweating, and even heart palpitations. You may also have a higher chance of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. If you already have some type of heart condition, you will likely find that anxiety can make it worse. A preventative measure to avoid those negative effects is to stay healthy by exercising and eating well.
Often, the source of your anxiety is unclear and elusive. It can be difficult to determine what you’re actually anxious about. However, if there are direct causes of your anxiety, do your best to remove those stressors.
Anxiety and Your Digestive System
Anxiety also affects your digestive system. As a result of anxiety, you may suffer from nausea and other digestive issues such as IBS. On the other hand, it’s also possible for you to experience a loss of appetite.
The problem for many is that these physical symptoms can make anxiety much worse, and may even make it difficult to leave the house. Much of this can be avoided by educating yourself and giving yourself the support you need to make it through difficult times. Talking honestly with your doctor and maintaining a healthy diet are great first steps.
Anxiety works in mysterious ways, especially when you are not fully aware of how it can affect your body. Anxiety is a very real condition that can affect both your physical and your mental health in a number of ways and often requires treatment to conquer.
It’s also incredibly important to understand that there is absolutely no shame in seeking treatment. There’s no need to suffer when help is available.
Have you experienced some physical symptoms of anxiety not mentioned above? Share them in the comments below!