According to Harvard Health Publications the following are anxiety related health problems.
- Gastrointestinal disorders – irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia (upset stomach)
- Respiratory disorders – asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Heart Disease
- Somatoform disorders (physical symptoms that have no apparent cause: headaches, body pain, nausea, weakness, dizziness) – hypochondriasis, body dysmorphic disorder, pain disorder, conversion disorder
Normal, everyday anxiety is good for us. It warns us of danger, keeps us out of trouble, and keeps our senses sharp when we need to perform. Chronic anxiety leads to an overload of stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol), which trigger the fight or flight response. Stress hormones are intended to get us through short-term situations. Our bodies cannot handle long-term, chronic levels of stress hormones without wear and tear on almost all of your body’s processes.
Remember, it’s never too late to get help for your anxiety. Don’t let it go untreated.
Here are some tips to get you started.
- Try to identify the physical symptoms you have when you are starting to feel anxious.
- Once you notice the physical sensations, stop and notice what types of thoughts you are having.
- Then notice if anything is happening in your environment that is contributing to the anxious feelings.
- Identify the ways you are trying to control things that are completely out of your control.
- Identify the ways you are feeling helpless.
- Purposefully focus on something that you do have control over or can take action on right now.
- Don’t forget to breath. Anxiety builds when your breathing gets very shallow or you are holding your breath.
- Use visual imagery. Develop a peaceful place in your mind that you can go to at any time. Think about a happy memory.
Post written by Angie Ridings, LPC