Anxiety is brutal at times. I hate it because it rages on inside my body without anyone knowing and yet it causes physical symptoms as well. The last couple of days I’ve been feeling it both in my mind and in my body in a few ways.
I’ve had periods of life where anxiety has been exhausting and disabled me in certain parts of my life. Personally I’m obviously still dealing with anxiety and trying to figure out the best way to handle it without medication by doing things like exercising and taking supplements. It’s still a balancing act for me.
While it’s mostly under control and I’ve worked on ways to handle it, it still surprises me when I start to see the physical symptoms. That’s why this infographic about your body on anxiety caught my eye the other day (and then sat in my open tabs for a while). If you’ve ever wondered what anxiety can do to your body physically, here it is:
It’s fascinating how your body reacts to anxiety immediately. When you first encounter anxiety your body might do any of these things:
- Throat troubles: Fluids are disperse to different parts of the body during periods of anxiety. This causes the throat to become dry, and the throat muscles to tighten.
- Liver reactions: When the body produces cortisol, the liver produces more glucose. This causes a spike in your blood sugar levels, which if not used, could be reabsorbed through the body.
- Skin reactions: Our response to stress increases our blood flow, causing a redistribution throughout the body. This causes some people to become paler as a reaction, while others tend to flush.
- An active spleen: In order to get more oxygen to the body during an anxious episode, the spleen discharges more red and white blood cells.
- Tense muscles: When the body first experiences stress, the muscles immediately seize as a reflex reaction.
It’s important to understand that these things are happening in your body when you feel anxious. It helps you to recognize the feeling and to take appropriate action.
All of these things are problems that can occur when you’ve been dealing with anxiety over a long period:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Weaker respiratory functions
- An overwhelmed nervous system
- Problems falling asleep
- Changes in the brain
- Weakened immune system
- Changes in metabolism
- Digestion troubles
- Greater susceptibility to ulcers
Yikes, right? While you and others might think anxiety “is all in your head”, there are very real physical consequences.
Thanks to Huffington Post for creating this anxiety infographic that explains how your body reacts to anxiety. I’ve found myself trying to explain anxiety and all it’s different consequences before to people that didn’t understand it. Almost everyone will experience some level of anxiety in life but it’s hard for a lot of people to understand that people who suffer from extreme or chronic anxiety have physical problems as a result.
And this concludes an A Merry Life educational moment!