Because you really enjoyed our post, How Stress Affects Our Bodies, we’ve decided to follow up with one about Anxiety. So, let’s do this!
When you think about anxiety, do you start to feel a bit anxious, slightly uncomfortable, and perhaps a little sweaty? If so, that’s OK. According to WebMD.com: “Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision.”
However, Anxiety disorders are very different. Because they can cause distress that is significant enough to interfere with an individual’s ability to get on with everyday life, they are considered to be serious forms of mental illness.
If anxious feelings are usually caused by something specific, like a trigger, an anxiety disorder can leave a person crippled with fear and overwhelming worry without the presence of a trigger, which makes it a by far more difficult disorder to treat. Nearly 2/3 of the adult population with anxiety disorders – consisting of some 57 million people – are women.
More than creating stress and fueling irrational feelings, anxiety can actually impact you physically. Furthermore, according to Harvard Health:
“Anxiety has now been implicated in several chronic physical illnesses, including heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions. When people with these disorders have untreated anxiety, the disease itself is more difficult to treat, their physical symptoms often become worse, and in some cases they die sooner.”
So, to cut to the chase, we give you the following super informative infographic about What Anxiety Does To Your Body, courtesy of our friends at HuffPo.
What anxiety can do to your body
There are various ways your body can react to anxious episodes:
- Your throat might feel dry and tight due to fluids dispersed differently
- A stress- triggered reflex reaction would makes your muscles feel tense
- You might look paler, or flush because of increased blood flow
- Your blood sugar level might spike as the liver will be producing more glucose in response to higher levels of anti-inflammatory cortisol
Suffering from anxiety for extended periods of time can worsen your physical health and lead to chronic conditions. The long term effects of anxiety can have devastating effects on our cardiac, respiratory, digestive, immune, and neural systems.
If you have been experiencing mild or severe anxiety, we strongly recommend you reach out to a trained mental health professional for a full assessment – and as usual, Talkspace online therapy is here to help!
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Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
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