To many of us, experiencing our heart racing and feeling the blood rush to our feet may just be matters to talk and laugh about with our friends. For some people though, it may be a life or death.
What is anxiety and how what happens when we experience it?
Anxiety is felt by all of us when we are in stressful situations or when we are waiting for something to happen – and not in a good way. It can be a rather uncomfortable feeling that will cause us to feel cold in our fingers and feet or have heart palpitations that won’t cease even after countless deep breaths. The thing we need to know is that when we get anxious, our brain sends a ‘fight or flight’ signal to the rest of our body. When experienced in the long run, it can cause anxiety disorders where the affected person continues feeling highly anxious for months on end for no particular reason.
To bring this issue closer to home, remember the last time your boss called you into his office for a talk or you had to do a public speaking stint? The anticipation definitely didn’t feel too good did it? That’s exactly what anxiety is about. Besides causing you to feel faint and even pins and needles in your hands and feet, constant exposure to such anxiety inducing situations can result in you experiencing stomach, heart, and even bowel problems in the long run.
How can anxiety affect our health?
A short anxiety attack can cause our blood to drain to your feet, making us feel dizzy. Longer periods of exposure can cause us to experience breathless, make our stomach hurt when it shouldn’t and/or give us a heart attack (yes, for real).
Sounds incredible? Not so. As long as you have been in a highly stressful situation before, you will know how awful it feels when all you can do is sit there and wait for whatever is coming your way, especially when you know it isn’t going to be something good. You attempt to calm yourself down by doing breathing exercises or drinking cold water. Or you pace up and down and think good thoughts to take your mind away from the tension. But you realise no matter what you do, you are still thinking about what’s going to come your way and your body takes the brunt of all this stress.
But is anxiety all bad?
But as much as too much anxiety is bad for us, a little once in awhile can make us more alert and aware of the things that are happening around us. When we get a little anxious, we tend to start taking note of the things people around us are saying or doing. This is our brain’s way of trying to take the load off ourselves by finding out what we may be in for.
So the next time you start feeling signs of anxiety, don’t get too uptight yet. Just don’t let it go on for too long and too much and you should be fine.