Anxiety is a different feeling for everyone. You might experience some of the symptoms listed below, and you might also experience other things that are not listed below.
Effects of anxiety on your body
Anxiety affects your body in different ways, thus affecting your day-to-day activities:
- Feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness
- A churning feeling in your stomach
- Feeling restless or unable to sit still
- Pins and needles
- Backache, headache, or other aches or pains
- Fast or irregular heartbeats
- Faster breathing
- Hot flushes or sweating
- Sleeping problems
- Nausea or feeling sick
- Grinding teeth, particularly at night
- Change in sex drive
- Needing the toilet more or less often
- Having panic attacks
Effects of anxiety on your mind
Anxiety also affects your brain in many different ways. The results of anxiety have inter-person variability. Here is a list of some common effects of anxiety on your mind:
- Constant fearing the worst or having a sense of dread
- Feeling nervous, tense, or unable to relax
- Feeling that others are looking at you and they can see that you are anxious
- Feeling like everything around is slowing down or speeding up
- Worry about anxiety
- Feeling like bad things will happen if you stop worrying
- Worrying that you are losing touch with reality
- Fearing that other people are upset or angry with you
- Depersonalization or feeling disconnected from your body or mind
- Rumination or thinking about bad experiences or thinking about a situation over and over again
- Derealization or feeling wholly disconnected from the world around you
- Worrying about future things
How else might anxiety affect your life?
Anxiety symptoms may come and go or can last for a long time. You might have difficulty with your day-to-day activities, including:
- Keeping relationships
- Looking after yourself
- Holding down a job
- Forming new relations
- Trying new things
- Simply enjoying activities
According to the National Mental Health Institute, about 20% of Americans report having an anxiety disorder in the past year, and about 30% of the Americans will have anxiety disorders once in their lifetime.
Common anxiety disorders among the people of the United States include generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.
While its normal to get nervous or anxious sometimes, especially before a significant life event, anxiety disorders are entirely different matters. If you have anxiety disorders, you may feel anxious most of the time for no good reason or may become excessively anxious about particular things.
For example, it’s reasonable to be nervous about your new job interview, but if you panic and have trouble breathing, you might have an anxiety disorder. If you leave it untreated, an anxiety disorder negatively affects your life in many different ways, including the following:
There are numerous ways in which anxiety disorders can affect your health. Anxiety means you are under persistent stress as if someone or something is threatening you. It may lead to many kinds of problems.
- Digestive problems
One of the first phase problems caused by anxiety disorders is digestive problems such as stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. You may also lose your appetite, which leads to weight loss. Anxiety disorders also worsen irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Chronic anxiety may impair your immune system, making you more likely to have ulcers.
- Neurological problems
Having an anxiety disorder means that your sympathetic nervous system is working overtime. Your SNS is known as the “fight-or-flight” system, which gets triggered by threats. It acts temporarily to get you out of trouble, but its overactivity can cause severe health problems. Certain biological tasks are the responsibility of the sympathetic nervous system, and others are the responsibilities of the counteracting system, the PNS, or the parasympathetic nervous system. When your SNS is underactive, you may have more difficulty sleeping and healing from illnesses and injuries. You may also have more muscle tension, that leads to headache, backache, and joint pains.
- Cardiovascular problems
Most people know that stress and tension are not suitable for their cardiovascular system. When you are stressed or when you are anxious, which means you are stressed, your blood pressure and heart rate increase. Eventually, these effects lead to your blood vessels become stiffer, causing a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
- More illnesses
As stated above, anxiety activates your SNS, which also has a strange effect on immunity. It boosts your immunity system temporarily to prepare you to fight infections that might result from injuries. However, in the long term, it damages your immunity system. Healing injuries and fighting infections are energy-intensive processes, and your body won’t devote resources to them unless you have a chance to recover and rest. As a result of this, you end up getting ill more often.
- Quality of life
Quality of life is the worst way in which an anxiety disorder can affect you. Having an anxiety disorder means that you always live in fear, and more often, the concern is of nothing in particular. That is something very unpleasant in itself, and it can also limit you and your lifestyle in many other ways. Anxiety makes it difficult for you to try new things, to maintain relationships, and to take risks in your job or personal life. Most people with anxiety feel caged in. They know things they want to do in life, but their constant anxiety keeps them away from trying those things. It may lead to loss of income, self-confident, and unfulfilled potential.
Human beings are social creatures. Having good relationships with our peers is essential to us. Unfortunately, an anxiety disorder is very hard on relationships. As anxiety limits your willingness to try new things, it also confines that you are willing to work with your friends. You are also not ready to meet new people and make new friends when you have anxiety disorders. People become socially isolated and even more anxious due to this. Anxiety disorders affect relationships in many other ways too. For example, having PTSD, you might become controlling and short-tempered, getting unreasonably angry with people around you. It can alienate you or sometimes even lead to legal troubles.