Anxiety, an important bodily response to protect us against stress and danger is something that we all feel from time to time. When we feel anxious a chain of automatic events occurs in our bodies and prepares us for action. This is known as the ‘fight or flight response’. This only becomes a problem when it is constantly triggered by everyday events and results in an inability to function on a day-to-day level. There are three parts to feeling anxious; physical, behavioural and psychological.
Physical symptoms include dizziness, tiredness often due to difficulty in falling or staying asleep, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat.
Psychological symptoms include difficulty concentrating, a sense of dread, irritability, being easily distracted.
Behavioural symptoms include beginning to avoid the situation which causes you anxiety. These symptoms can cause stress which in turn causes people to withdraw from social interaction and may result in taking time off work.
A cycle of anxiety may occur when the individual begins to feel anxious about being anxious, dreading the onset of symptoms. This may lead to General Anxiety Disorder affecting 1 in 20 adults, a long-term condition in which the individual is anxious about a wide range of events.
Anxiety is triggered off by a number of factors e.g.
- Genetic pre-disposition.
- A distressing past event, which was not been dealt with has meant that the feelings become more severe if a similar event/events occur in the present.
- A feeling of lack of control over our lives can make people become anxious and begin to worry about future events e.g. illness, redundancy.
Taking exercise can alleviate some of the tension caused by anxiety. Yoga, meditation, aromatherapy and Reiki can help you to relax and sleep better. Breathing and relaxation techniques may also help promote calmness.
For further details see https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk.