The Effects of Anxiety: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Life Balanced
Everyone has stress and anxiety from time to time. They are signs that you’re pushing yourself and growing as a person. However, when stress and anxiety become overwhelming and begin to have a negative impact on your life, it is no longer beneficial. Left unchecked, anxiety can lead to panic attacks, depression, insomnia, and chronic stress which can put you at risk for several diseases. This article will help you prevent this.
What Causes Anxiety?
When you feel anxious, it’s usually because you’re afraid of something. You may be afraid of an upcoming event, an interaction with a loved one, or an outcome in a situation over which you have no control. You may also feel anxious about things that are unlikely to happen or that you have no control over. Anxiety is often accompanied by depression, and the two sometimes occur together as a mental health condition called “double depression”. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million people in the United States every year. Anxiety is a normal human emotion, but when it is out of proportion and interferes with daily life, it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Signs of Anxiety
- Physical Symptoms — If you have anxiety, you may notice that you have several physical symptoms including muscle tension, a racing heart, sweating, feeling dizzy, nausea, or a sense of impending doom.
- Cognitive Symptoms — Anxiety can make it hard to concentrate and focus on the present moment. You may have trouble making decisions or feel that you’re “running on autopilot.”
- Behavioral Symptoms — Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways including avoiding social situations, overindulging in unhealthy habits, and feeling like you’re always running behind.
- Mood and Emotional Symptoms — Some mood and emotional symptoms of anxiety include sadness, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, or experiencing mood swings.
How Does Anxiety Affect the Brain?
Your brain releases a hormone called cortisol, which is linked to feelings of stress. Long-term stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive issues. It can also have a negative impact on your mental health and make it harder to think clearly and solve problems. When you’re feeling anxious, your brain releases more cortisol which can be damaging to your body. When you’re not anxious, your brain relies on serotonin for feelings of happiness and contentment. Anxious feelings can reduce serotonin levels and make you feel depressed.
Strategies to Reduce Anxiety
- Exercise — Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. It releases endorphins which make you feel happier and more relaxed.
- Healthy Diet — Anxiety is often accompanied by feelings of stress and low mood. Eating well can help combat these feelings and make it easier to stay calm and relaxed. Good foods for reducing anxiety include leafy green vegetables, fish, olive oil, and whole grains.
- Sleep — Sleep deprivation can trigger or exacerbate feelings of anxiety. Getting enough sleep can make it easier to deal with stress and calm yourself in stressful situations.
These are just a few ways to reduce anxiety, but they are effective strategies that can make a big difference in your mental health. Keeping these strategies in mind can help you reduce the symptoms of anxiety and take control of your mental health. You can find even more methods to prevent anxiety in the Sensera app. Download now to get happier!