How Your Anxiety Affects Your Mind And Your Physical Body

Our response to anxiety is the normal reaction to anything that happens that we recognize to be a threat to us or those close to us. Some of the stimulating effects of this response can be good for us but if our anxious awakening is excessive and unrealistic pertaining to the situation we are faced with, then our heightened levels of anxious arousal will take its toll on our health. In fact over time giving our minds constant fight or flight messages can and will do life-threatening damage to our physical bodies.

Here is a list of some of the things that happen to our physical bodies during increased anxiety or a panic attack, remember these things happen every time our anxiety exceeds normal healthy levels.

 

  • Skin : Our sweat glands immediately start working to lower our core temperature in case we need to run or stand and fight.

 

  • Breathing : Our lungs start working harder and faster, forcing the oxygen in which will be needed by the muscles to perform well.

 

  • Heart : Our heart starts to beat faster and harder, raising our blood pressure and pulse beyond normal levels.

 

  • Immune System : With all our major organs on high alert, fighting germs takes a back seat and our immune cell system slows right down leaving us open to attack.

 

  • Cognition: Our brain anticipates the worst possible outcome, going into override and we start to feel impending doom.

 

  • Digestion : Our digestive system becomes very low on the bodies priority scale and slows right down leading to stomach problems like bloating, indigestion, diarrhoea, vomiting etc.

 

  • Metabolism: Hormonal changes affect both our appetites and the way we burn calories, upset metabolisms lead to other problems such as obesity.

 

  • Nerves: Our nerve system becomes oversensitive and this leads to increased awareness of pain.

 

As you can see we are putting our bodies under tremendous stress every time we have an anxiety or panic attack, with a severe attack doing untold damage over the long term.Imagine you have particularly nasty infection which you need your immune system to get to work on immediately to fight off the foreign invaders which have entered your body but because you are in a constant anxious state then your immune system is almost closed down and will definitely lose the battle and leave you with  a possibly life threatening infection needing immediate medical intervention.Perhaps like me you would like your heart to continue working well into old age, are we helping it achieve that outcome by continually stressing it unnaturally?

So now we have a strong case for overcoming our anxiety or panic disorder, not only will we feel much better mentally but we will also be giving our physical bodies the best possible chance of operating at optimal rate for a long time to come.

 

© Andrew Tudor Jones.