What does anxiety do to your body is a question I’m often asked. It was also one of the many questions I had for my Psychologist.
Usually I am asked what anxiety does to your body by friends and family after I tell them I have anxiety and depression.
The following article could be triggering for people with mental health conditions.
ANXIETY AND NERVOUSNESS
I think there is a misconception with what anxiety is versus nervousness is. They both play off of each other, but they are different.
Nervousness comes from a situation that is usually temporary, for example speaking in a public setting or sitting an exam. It’s extremely common to feel nervous in these types of situations.
Anxiety can also occur in theses scenarios, but the worry is more intrusive and the body can also react.
A nervous person might be a little worried they will fail the exam, but be able to cast the worry aside and sit it. A person with anxiety may not be able to get those thoughts out of their mind and the anxiety may lead them to panic.
With the health anxiety that I experience, it is usually driven by fear of some medications. What they will do to my body and possible side effects are two scenarios that my mind is drawn to.
This is why I have quite literally trained myself to stop googling health concerns. Most of the time, no good will come of it and it will make your anxiety worse.
WHAT DOES ANXIETY DO TO YOUR BODY?
Anxiety is simply your fight or flight mode kicking into action.
Flight or Fight mode is designed to keep you safe in dangerous situations. With anxiety, sometimes the brain misinterprets some things as dangerous when it isn’t.
So for me, that would be health related symptoms.
I can tell you right now that if I read the brochure of any medication before I took it, I would feel the side effects.
It’s truly amazing how the brain works.
There can be many different triggers for different people but what anxiety does to your body, however are relatively the same.
As the body kicks into fight or flight overdrive, an abundance of chemicals from the brain is released. This chemical is cortisol, and it’s primary function is to get the body ready to flea.
Some people will feel dizzy as more oxygen is required.
Your breathing may become shallow and your heart rate may also increase.
As your body temperature increases, you may also sweat. Most commonly from the the hands.
I have personally experienced all these symptoms, and while they are uncomfortable they do eventually pass.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress you can reach out to Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue’s support line is available 24/7.
Lifeline: For crisis support, Lifeline provides a 24/7 line, as well as online resources on a range of issues.