How Anxiety Adversely Affects Your Body and Brain & Tips to Overcome
Anxiety is a normal response of the body whenever someone faces an unfamiliar or stressful situation in life. It can be experienced by anyone. There is no specific age and gender for the risk of anxiety. However, many studies were able to prove that it happens more to women than men. Even middle age and adult women can experience this and it is something that is totally normal until it becomes chronic. At times, you will realize that anxiety has some long term effects that will not only affect your emotions but also your physical body.
Adverse Effects of Anxiety on Your Body and Brain
With all the different worries that we have in life, it is very important to look into how our body responds to difficult situations. Dr. James Kojian MD provides you with the adverse effects of anxiety on your body and brain:
• Anxiety Causes Rapid, Shallow Breathing When you worry, it is normal to experience shortness of breath. However, your anxiety attack may cause something more extreme than that. While you are having an anxiety attack, you will feel like you are experiencing rapid and shallow breathing that may last for a few minutes. This is one of the most notable symptoms of anxiety that you should not take for granted. If you experience this every time you are worried, then you are experiencing anxiety.
• Reduces Sleep and May Lead to Insomnia Another thing that may tell you that you are indeed experiencing anxiety is a change in your normal sleep pattern. If you are a person who used to have normal sleep and suddenly you are sleeping for fewer hours, there must be a problem. This may become evident after you have confronted a specific problem in the past and it was not resolved. The mind can only take so much and most of the time, if you are thinking about something and you cannot get your mind off it, it can cause anxiety and this will lead to lack of sleep. The worst-case scenario will be for you to experience insomnia. This is one of the symptoms that you need to deal with immediately because it can affect your brain function and your overall performance during the day.
• Increased Risk of Stroke Studies were able to prove that extreme anxiety may lead to an increased risk of stroke. This is most especially true for people who have a history of stroke in the family. It is also very common for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Researchers have pointed out that people who are experiencing extreme anxiety have a greater tendency to smoke and this can lead to an increase in the blood pressure and the pulse rate. With this, the risk of stroke also increases.
• Affects the Shape of the Body People who have extreme anxiety resort to some activities that can lessen the short term effect of the condition. For most people who cannot contain their worries, the most accessible comfort activity that they can do is to eat. With this, some unhealthy eating practices can also stem from one person’s uncontrollable feeling of anxiety. This may lead to obesity if not going to be dealt with earlier. It will not only affect the shape of the body but also the whole system.
• Unnecessary Sweating If you are having an anxiety attack, you will notice how you can experience unnecessary sweating even if the room or the surrounding is cool. This is because of how your nerves trigger your sweat glands to respond to an unfamiliar or stressful situation. This symptom will let you know immediately that you have to do something to keep yourself calm. It may not be easy but you need to learn some necessary skills to make yourself feel better even after confronting a very stressful and depressing situation. These types of situations cannot be helped. Knowing how to deal with them is the key to dealing with anxiety.
How to Overcome Anxiety
Now that you have already learned the different symptoms and the adverse effects of anxiety on the body, the next thing that you need to know are the different ways on how you can overcome it. To help you with this, here are some of the simplest ways on how you can overcome anxiety:
• Exercise Helps to Cope with Anxiety If you have not yet engaged yourself in a regular exercise routine, you should consider one now. This is not only because of the positive effect of exercise on your body but also to how you deal with anxiety. There are different reasons why you need to exercise. One of which is that it is the best way to release stress. As you sweat, you are also releasing the negativities and other stressful thoughts that may cause anxiety. After a few hours at the gym or outside, you will realize how you feel better and more relaxed. For people who are experiencing insomnia because of anxiety, exercising can help you get better sleep at night. The best thing for you to maintain regular exercise is to choose the best time in the day for it. You can also choose the exercises that you want to do. This way, you will feel excited every time.
• Learn to Maintain Healthy Diet It has been mentioned that anxiety can also lead to binge eating and other unhealthy eating practices. With this, one of the best ways on how you can deal with anxiety is to maintain a healthy diet. You will realize that when you overeat because you are feeling stressed and anxious, you do not really mind what you put in your mouth. With this, it would be helpful to be conscious of what you are eating. Instead of feeding yourself with foods that will just add to your weight, you can choose healthier options. When the body is supplied with the right nutrients, the mind is also in its best condition. This is one perfect way for you to make yourself feel better. Always remember that you will become what you eat.
• Practice Focused Deep Breathing This is an immediate solution when you are experiencing an anxiety attack. Instead of letting stress and worry consume you, learn how to gain back your focus through deep breathing. This is a practice that you should always keep in mind. Whenever you are in a situation where you think you are not in control, do not let stress control you. Instead, you can stop for a moment and take some deep breaths as you try to compose yourself. Your mind can be trained and you can always control it. You should not let your thoughts take control. Deep breaths are actually effective and it can always make you feel calm and focused even in the most stressful situation.
• Adopt Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended for people who are experiencing different conditions such as anxiety, phobias, addiction, and depression. With this specific kind of therapy, you will be taught to understand the different feelings and thoughts that can have an influence or effect on your behaviour. This is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment and you can always avail of it whenever you want to deal with your anxiety disorder. This is recommended for those who are experiencing the adverse effect of this condition.
• Learn to be Calm and Patient If there is something that every human being has, it is the ability to control their own minds and hearts. With this, you have to keep in mind that anxiety, just like other extreme feelings, can also be controlled if you have the necessary ability to be calm and patient. It should be clear to you that there will be days and specific moments in life that you will not be able to control and knowing how to be patient during these times will surely bring you to a better state. Always practice how to be calm. Remember that you are the only one who is in control of your own emotions. If you are not going to be calm, it would be impossible for you to be able to understand the kind of feeling that is trying to imprison you. Be free from your mind and control your emotions. This way, it will be easier for you to determine the exact answer to the problem or issue that you are dealing with. Anxiety is a normal thing and you will surely experience it in the future. This is why you have to remember that being in control is the best way to make it easier for you to deal with it. Life is not always a walk in the park. Being able to realize that the reality of life can sometimes hurt you can be a great start. Do not make anything that is happening around you get into your mind.
About the author: As a nature/natural-living enthusiast and passionate researcher, Areyo Dadar enjoys playing her part to educate the world on the benefits of alternative health and medication options.