Anxiety can really affect you in a physical way, as well as emotionally. If you’ve experienced anxiety at any point you are probably aware of the symptoms such as chaotic thoughts, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath and disrupted sleep, but anxiety can also impact your life in ways which can seem totally unrelated to your anxious thoughts.
Often when your mind is consumed with racing thoughts it can be very difficult to focus at work, school or even at home in front of the tv. Anxiety keeps us stuck in a fearful place, being present in the current moment can be difficult. It can also affect your ability to remember things like work assignments or a friend’s birthday. It can also lead to forgetfulness as focus and concentration are central to forming memories.
It can also impact self esteem, your fears and worries can make you doubt yourself and your ability to handle people and situations. Sleep disruption is a well known side effect, but it may also cause you to have very vivid dreams or nightmares.
Our thoughts don’t necessarily quieten down as we prepare for sleep, in fact they can often get worse as there are no external distractions.
Anxiety takes it’s toll on your immune system too, so if you find you’re constantly battling illness, it could be that your mental health is the root cause.
When your body notices an uptake in anxiety we release cortisol, which is the body’s fight or flight response. We can spend days or weeks in this mode, which effectively shuts down all other healthy responses to our environment.
There are many reasons for the many different types of anxiety conditions, but all seem to respond well to spending more time time on nurturing yourself and caring for yourself. Exercise is recommended, along with joining a group, taking up a new hobby, or joining a meditation class. It’s also worth looking at diet and nutrition too, too much junk food or sugar can also contribute to irritability and stress.
Just one small change in lifestyle could be a huge step on the way to controlling anxiety issues.