Anxiety, stress, and tension are all familiar feelings that are part of our life. Anxiety, for instance, is the most common and nasty feeling that most people experience in life. According to the 2007 Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey commissioned by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, seven out of 10 adults in the US said they experience anxiety or stress on a daily basis. Out of those, 60 percent said that anxiety affects their lives. 70 percent of the adults stated that they have trouble sleeping. This makes anxiety and stress worrying conditions.
The National Center for Biotechnology defines anxiety as a nasty personal experience associated with the perception of real threat. It can also be defined as an emotional state characterized by feelings of dangerous expectation and a sense of imminent threat. Anxiety has both psychological and physiological components. Sweating, accelerated heart and respiration rate, gastrointestinal, and muscle tension changes are some of the physiological conditions. And the psychological conditions include fear of loss of control, feeling powerless and apprehension.
Common ways in which anxiety influences your health
When the body undergoes anxiety, it triggers the adrenal glands to produce an excessive amount of cortisol, a stress hormone that triggers the liver to produce more glucose, which to diabetic people could be potentially dangerous to health.
Sweat, flushed cheeks are just outward signs of anxiety. This is due to change in blood circulation brought about by anxiety and stress. During anxiety, the body pushes a lot of blood to the muscles, and too much exposure to this reaction is a potential aging accelerator. Other reactions of the skin to anxiety include increased histamine and perspiration.
Chronic anxiety sufferers have a risk of cardiovascular problems. This is due to the constant increases heart rate, overexposure to cortisol and high blood pressure. Long-term exposure to chronic stress and anxiety may lead to arrhythmias, hypertension and a risk of stroke or heart attack.
Most reactions to anxiety are psychological responses to anxiety. Therefore anxiety can affect the part of the brain that influences both long-term and short-term memory. People suffering from anxiety may also experience a lack of sleep due to the worrisome thoughts when one is experiencing chronic anxiety.
When the body is experiencing stress and anxiety, it does not properly regulate digestion process. Anxiety and stress can also have serious long-term effects on the intestines and nutrient absorption leading to bloating, diarrhea, reflux and even loss of bowel control.