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Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety is a type of emotional disorder characterized by fear, nervousness and worry, among many other symptoms. It can happen to people of any age, but it usually appears by middle-age. While everyone is at risk of anxiety, stressful life events such as a loss of a loved one or war combat can make you more prone to anxiety. In certain situations, such as interviewing for a job, feeling anxious is normal—but when the anxiety becomes chronic, preventing you from living a normal life, you’ll need to seek treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as phobias, are just some of the types of anxiety disorders you can easily recognize through physical symptoms.

Difficulty breathing

One of the symptoms of anxiety can be rapid breathing—suddenly feeling worried or nervous, followed by rapid and shallow breathing (you may end up experiencing hyperventilation). This condition makes the lungs take in more oxygen and transport it around the body quickly. If you start hyperventilating, your body may feel like it’s not getting enough oxygen, which will make you gasp for air. This can only lead to weakness, tingling, lightheadedness and dizziness. That’s why if you find yourself losing control over your breathing, you should try to calm down and start breathing from your belly. By using your diaphragm, you’ll breathe with more control and get all the oxygen you need. This will also make you use your parasympathetic nervous system, which allows you to settle down after a threat.

Feeling exhausted

A constant feeling of fatigue is another symptom of anxiety. One of the reasons behind it is an increase in stress hormones, which will keep you alert all the time. Constant alertness is very draining on the body, and you’ll feel tired no matter how much sleep you get, even if you manage to fall asleep—that’s because insomnia is also very likely to happen if you’re experiencing anxiety. You should consider some natural anxiety treatments, and see if hemp oil for anxiety will be able to alleviate these symptoms and keep you calmer, offering you more hours of sleep.

Unable to sleep at night

As mentioned above, insomnia may be one of the reasons why you’re feeling exhausted, which is another physical symptom of anxiety. If you’re having a difficult time falling asleep, sleeping through the night or often fighting restlessness, it’s likely that you’re experiencing anxiety. Cortisol and adrenaline will cause the body to stay alert, which will further prevent your body from relaxing, and the never-ending need for rest won’t be possible. Anxiety can further cause disturbing thoughts that can only make the condition worse.

Increased heart rate

Stressful situations make your body produce more adrenaline and cortisol, which makes the receptors in your heart speed up the heart rate. This is the body’s way of preparing you for future challenges, enabling you to handle dangerous events as well as flee or combat a threat. However, if your anxiety increases your heart rate, you’ll only feel more nervous because there’s no danger ahead of you, but just your phobias and disorders working against you.

Gastrointestinal problems

In a fight or flight situation, cortisol blocks the processes that the body considers dispensable. Digestion is precisely one of these processes, which is why a person who’s suffering from anxiety may feel like their stomach is churning, leaving them nauseous or experiencing diarrhea. Considering that adrenaline can temporarily stop digestion, people experiencing anxiety may lose their appetite and even develop irritable bowel syndrome. Constipation and general stomach pain are also common problems because of the connection the brain and the gut have, resulting in your bathroom patterns changing.

Anxiety can occur at any age, and even though it’s a form of mental illness, anxiety can also show some physical symptoms. From increased heart rate to respiratory problems, fatigue, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems, anxiety can be recognized through a plethora of physical symptoms. That’s why you should pay more attention to how your body feels in stressful situations or events, which may appear more nerve-wracking to you, and find out if what your body needs is anxiety treatment or some other form of help.

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by Diana Smith

Diana Smith is a full time mother of two beautiful girls interested in health related topics and alternative medicine.

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