It’s not all in your head
If you have anxiety, you can find yourself worrying, anxious, or afraid of everyday events. These emotions can be distressing and difficult to deal with. They can also make everyday life difficult.
Physical signs of anxiety may also occur. Remember a time when you were nervous. Perhaps your palms were sweaty and your legs were trembling. It’s possible that your heart rate has increased. It’s possible you have felt sick to your stomach.
You may have connected these signs to your anxiety. However, it’s possible that you weren’t sure why you were feeling ill.
Anxiety affects the majority of people at some point in their lives. If anxiety lasts for a long time, causes depressive symptoms, or interferes with your life in other ways, it could be serious or develop into a disorder.
Anxiety comes in many forms, including:
- Panic Attacks
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Separation Anxiety
- Health Anxiety
- Social Anxiety
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
What effect does anxiety have on your body?
Physical signs of anxiety may have a negative impact on one’s health and everyday life.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:
- stomach pain, nausea, or digestive trouble (IBS)
- insomnia and other sleep issues
- fatigue and muscle weakness
- shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- racing heart, pounding heart or palpitations
- shaking or trembling
- muscle tension or aches and pains
Additional physical symptoms can accompany some forms of anxiety.
If you’re having a panic attack, you may find yourself doing the following:
- fear of dying
- difficulty breathing
- a fear of choking
- numbness or tingling sensations in various parts of the body
- chest pain
- feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- feeling as though you could pass out
- a feeling of overheating or having chills
Anxiety, or the body’s reaction to stress, is how the body warns you of dangers and prepares you to deal with them. This is known as the fight-or-flight response.
When your body senses a threat, your lungs attempt to pump more oxygen into your body in case you need to flee. This can make you feel as though you’re not getting enough air, which can make you feel even more anxious or panicked.
Your body isn’t designed to be on high alert all of the time. Chronic anxiety can cause the body to be in constant fight-or-flight mode, which can have negative and severe consequences.
Tensed muscles can prepare you to flee from danger quickly, but they may also cause pain, stress headaches, and migraines if they are constantly tense.
Increased heartbeat and breathing are caused by the hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which can be beneficial when confronted with a danger. However, these hormones have an effect on digestion and blood sugar levels.
If you’re constantly depressed or nervous, releasing these hormones on a regular basis may have long-term health consequences. Your digestion can also change as a result of the situation.
Is Anxiety Causing These Issues?
It’s a good idea to see a doctor if your symptoms are affecting your mental health or making daily life difficult. Health conditions that cause the same symptoms can be ruled out by the primary care provider.
It’s possible that you have anxiety if your physical symptoms aren’t caused by a medical condition. Anxiety and other mental health disorders may be diagnosed by a mental health professional.
Although there is no medical test for anxiety, a doctor, psychologist, therapist, or counsellor can use screening tests to help decide whether you have it.
To reach a proper diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, a mental health professional will ask you about all of your symptoms, both physical and emotional. They’ll also want to know how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms and whether they’ve gotten worse or were brought on by a particular incident.
It’s important to seek treatment for anxiety because it can have such a negative effect on one’s health. Mild anxiety may go away on its own or after the anxiety-inducing incident has passed, but chronic anxiety is more likely to continue and worsen.
If you don’t know where to start looking for a therapist, ask your health care provider for a recommendation.
Treatment for Physical Symptoms
Treatment for anxiety is determined by the nature and severity of the symptoms.
The two most common therapies for anxiety are therapy and medication. If you have physical symptoms as a result of your anxiety, talk therapy or medication that reduces your anxiety will help.
One of the most popular and effective anxiety treatment options is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
You might find that therapy is beneficial on its own. If your symptoms don’t change, you should talk to a doctor about taking anxiety medication.
You may also take steps to alleviate anxiety symptoms on your own.
What Can You Do?
- If you’re able, get some exercise. Exercise can aid in the reduction of stress and the improvement of physical health. If you are unable to be physically involved, consider sitting outside every day. Nature is gradually being shown to be beneficial to mental health in studies.
- Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine should all be avoided. Any of these can exacerbate anxiety.
- Experiment with relaxation methods. Two techniques that can help you relax are guided relaxation and breathwork. You may also benefit from meditation and yoga. While these strategies are thought to be effective, it is possible to experience an increase in anxiety as a result of using them.
- Make sleep a priority. Anxiety is often accompanied by sleep problems. Make an effort to get as much rest as possible. Having a good night’s sleep will help you deal with anxiety symptoms. Getting more sleep can also help to alleviate symptoms.
Anxiety symptoms such as persistent fear and worry are well-known, but physical symptoms of anxiety can be less well-known. You may be completely unaware that you are suffering from anxiety.
Anxiety left untreated may have long-term consequences in all aspects of one’s wellbeing. If your symptoms continue or are causing you problems at work, school, or in your relationships, see your doctor.
While there is no cure for anxiety, treatment, which mostly consists of a combination of therapy and medication, may be very effective in alleviating symptoms.