In the last blog, I explained how anxiety provoking situations make your body produce adrenaline – the fight or flight hormone.

Anxiety affects our physical bodies, and makes us behave differently.

Physical signs (and reasons why you may get them)anxiety affect

• Increased heart rate – as your body needs increased oxygen, you breathe faster (hyperventilate) to get oxygen into your system whilst your heart beats faster to get the oxygenated cells around your body
• Dizziness – changes to blood pressure as it goes higher
• Aches and pains – tense muscles including grinding teeth, clenched jaws and bruxism
• Insomnia – not switching off from problems
• Weight gain or loss – stress cortisol in the blood affects weight loss, plus changes to eating habits
• Exhaustion and tiredness – being on high alert is tiring
• Upset stomach – from changes to eating habits but change to hormones also
• Sweaty palms – keeping you cool in the event that you need to run!
• Panic attacks

Emotional signs – do you recognise any of these?

Constant worry, difficulty making decisions, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, lack of creativity, loss of sense of humour, Anger, anxiety, crying, depression, feeling powerless, frequent mood swings, irritability, loneliness, negative thinking, nervousness, sadness

Behavioural changes – such as bossiness, compulsive eating, critical of others, explosive actions, frequent job changes, impulsive actions, increased use of of alcohol or drugs, withdrawal from relationships or social situations

How can anxiety affect you day to day?

At work or study – difficulty engaging with work colleagues, or being able to concentrate on tasks. Anxiety about doing things wrong, or feeling fatigued or exhausted or not being able to cope. Increased time off work as it feels too difficult to be in the work place at times.

Lifestyle choices – Increase in use of nicotine, drugs or alcohol as a coping or ‘switch off’ mechanism. Changes to eating habits leading to weight loss or gain.

Social life – Find it harder to go to social events or interact with friends and family.

Physical health – irregular sleeping patterns, gastric issues, fatigue plus increased vulnerability to the coughs and colds through feeling generally rundown and exhausted. Headaches, muscle pain and tension.

Financial matters – potentially reduced income from not working or inability to cope with bills and payments.

Thank you for reading this blog – I hope you found it useful. I will do future blogs on how to cope with stress, or manage weight gain or addictive behaviours.  You don’t have to live with anxiety.

Please look out for my next blog in this series – self help tips to manage anxiety.

I would love to hear about what you find useful when you feel anxious – leave a message in the comments box and I will include them in my next article.

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with me on anxiety please get in touch!

Liz Sharpe

Advanced BWRT Practitioner and Coach, Trainer and Hypnotherapist.

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