Come on, you can do this. Just keep it together. You’ve been practising all night, you’ll be fine. This room is too small. Oh no! it’s happening again. Your heart is racing and your chest is tight. You can’t speak, you feel about to faint! You feel like you are about to die!
The physical symptoms of anxiety don’t seem to get as much attention as the mental and emotional effects. The overwhelming worry and fear that characterize anxiety can be debilitating.
Anxiety can wreak just as much havoc on the body as it can the mind. Every system in the body from head to toe can be impacted just by the nature of your body releasing a lot of stress hormones. You have your fight-or-flight response to thank for your physical anxiety symptoms. Typically, it’s supposed to help you survive a threat by escaping or fending off the threat. In way-back-then, cavepeople days, that threat might have been something along the lines of a lion.
If you have anxiety, though, your fear and worry are that threat, your body reacts the same as if you were about to be attacked by a lion. This prompts your sympathetic nervous system to react, which controls involuntary processes like your breathing and heart rate, to kick into high gear. This leads your adrenal glands to release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
This domino effect is behind anxiety’s physical symptoms. This means that when you are experiencing anxiety, it’s essentially the fight-or-flight system kicking in and saying, “Danger!”, this is why you feel you are dying.
Physical symptoms include trouble falling or staying asleep, muscle tension, clenching your jaw, tightening your muscles throughout your body, chronic indigestion and self-doubt. You may experience self-consciousness, blushing, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking and sweating when having to interact with others, even a small number of people.
In most cases of cases of anxiety disorder, a combination of medication, talk therapy and alternative remedies can help you manage your anxiety.
5 Ideas that may help manage your Anxiety
- Sunlight: Getting plenty of direct sunlight, even short 20-minute breaks in the sun per day may have significant benefits for your mental health.
- Warm Baths: After a long anxious day, a warm bath helps by increasing body temperature, and regulates mood and anxiety. Add an essential oil, like lavender to enhance the experience.
- Exercise: Weekly exercise is essential for a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Even walking 10 000 steps per day will help release feel good endorphins.
- Improve your diet: Leave out alcohol, artificial sweeteners and processed food. Double up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Add supplements such as Lysine and Omega 3 to your diet: Lysine is a powerful tool in the fight against anxiety.Omega-3 is an important element to support overall mental health.
Now on the bright side, anxiety is treatable. If anxiety is getting in the way of your life – contact your medial practioner to discus treatment options.