The Betterment Project

Anxiousness: How It Can Negatively Affect You

We see anxiousness depicted in cartoons and movies as nail biting, pacing the floors, and a general shaky demeanor. Those can certainly be signs of anxiousness, but if you’ve ever experienced the sensation, you know that the feeling goes much deeper and impacts much more.


Anxiousness can be felt intensely at times, but the residual effects of the feeling can last for hours. So, what causes you to experience anxiousness in the first place? Perhaps a better understanding of the cause can help us understand the negative effect it can have on us.


What Causes You To Experience Anxiousness?


We all experience feelings of anxiousness from time to time. Anxiousness is a natural part of life. We are supposed to experience it as a part of our body’s response when we’re about to face an intense or stressful situation.


To prepare our bodies for the upcoming tension, our heart rate quickens, and our breathing increases. This is by design to send oxygenated blood to our brains to help us focus and think and act quickly as the need arises. 


Sometimes the body’s response to the upcoming stress or the intensity of the stress can be too great, and when the body overdoes its response, we may feel lightheaded or nauseous. 


Whether you feel overly anxious or reasonably anxious, the response is meant to be short-term. However, for some, the feeling doesn’t dissipate. Sometimes this happens because stressors are too constant. For some people, the body stays in this heightened state without provocation. 


Sustained feelings of anxiousness or excessive amounts of anxiety can negatively impact the body’s physical health and mental health. 


A disorder is when the body’s physical or mental functions normal operation areisturbed. Disorders can be caused by genetics, diseases, or trauma. 


Feelings of anxiousness, as mentioned, are a normal function of the body in preparation for stress, and just like other functions can be disturbed, it’s possible to experience an anxiety disorder. 


There are different causes for feelings of anxiousness to occur more frequently than normal. No matter what the cause of your anxious feelings, though, if you experience them frequently, you should be aware of the effect anxiousness has on the body.


How Does Anxiousness Affect Your Body?

 

Feeling anxious has the short-term effects discussed above, such as quickening of the breath and heart rate, but it can have other effects on your body that can affect your body in the long term when our feelings of anxiousness are long-lasting. 


One of the responses in the body is to release stress hormones into the bloodstream. The adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol to help the body prepare to react to stress.


As adrenaline is released throughout the body, it can cause:


  • Increases in heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Heightened awareness and senses
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dulled awareness of pain
  • Improved performance
  • Increased strength

When you’re in the midst of a stressful situation, these effects are what help you react quickly and effectively. However, prolonged release of adrenaline can have negative effects such as:


  • Blood vessel damage
  • Increases in blood pressure
  • Unintended weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • More feelings of anxiousness

As cortisol, your body’s main stress hormone, is released throughout the body, it sounds the alarm in your body to be ready for the upcoming situation. Cortisol helps to control your mood, maintain your motivation, and suppress your fear. 


Cortisol’s role in the body creates:


  • Increases in sugars, or glucose, in the bloodstream
  • Improvements in the brain’s usage of glucose
  • Enhanced tissue repairs
  • Decreases in nonessential or harmful functions
  • Altered immune system responses
  • Suppression of the digestive system, reproduction, and growth

Too much cortisol can impact your body as well. You may notice:


  • A rapid increase in weight gained, unintentionally
  • Flushing or reddening of the face
  • Increases in blood pressure
  • Changes in your skin
  • Weakened muscles
  • Sudden changes in mood or mood swings
  • Increases in thirst or urination in response to increased sugars in the bloodstream

Your body’s natural response to stress and the processes that develop from feelings of anxiousness are necessary to deal with stressors in life. Still, the body is not meant to stay in this state for long periods or frequently. 


General signs that your body is staying anxious for too long or to an excessive level include:


  • A sense of doom
  • Panic attacks
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Trouble breathing
  • Racing heart
  • Digestive distress
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle aches 

Just as you would expect to become exhausted from too much physical activity or too little rest and sleep for recovery, your body grows weary of prolonged feelings of anxiousness. To avoid this weariness and decrease the possibility of negative effects of frequent anxiousness, it’s important to learn to minimize those feelings.  


What Can You Do To Minimize Anxiousness?


In a perfect world, we would just avoid the stressors in our lives that cause feelings of anxiousness. However, since we need the body to function properly to respond to stress, keep us safe in dangerous situations, or help us handle tension. It’s more important to learn to manage stress and minimize the effects of anxiousness on the body to reduce long-term effects.


Here are a few things you can add to your life to support your efforts to deal with stress and the anxiety that accompanies it. 


Yoga

 

Yoga is an ancient discipline that is meant to help you learn to control and create a sense of stillness in mind, the source of most feelings of anxiousness. While some may see yoga as simple stretching, it actually works well to support the management of stress and anxiousness.


Yoga can help improve mood, and it can support a sense of well-being. The practice of yoga requires very little equipment, and it can be done virtually anywhere. The stillness this discipline promotes can help naturally lower cortisol levels.


Regular Exercise

 

Exercise is part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It is possible to create more stress in the body through overexertion, but 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week can help lower overall tension and help elevate your mood naturally.


Meditation

 

Meditation involves deep breathing and training the mind to focus on a particular thought or create mindfulness to stimulate awareness and train the mind’s attention. Meditation promotes a sense of mental clarity. 


Anxious feelings can cause the mind to race and thoughts to become erratic or irrational. Meditation can help you learn to quiet these thoughts and create peace in your mind where there is chaos.  


Calming Supplement

 

Stress management is an important part of managing your feelings of anxiousness. For added support, natural ingredients can be found in a calming supplement like Complete Calm De-Stress Gummies

 

Taken once each day, Complete Calm De-Stress Gummies can encourage a calm sensation from its key ingredients like its Terpene blend, and regular daily use can promote a feeling of zen. 


An easy, tasty treat-like addition to your day with a calming supplement can help reduce your feelings of anxiousness, and you can avoid side effects because of the natural ingredients that make up these supportive, calming supplements.


Establish A Sleep Routine

 

For some people, feelings of anxiousness are there to greet them when they wake up. For others, it can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. An ironic fact is that your sleep habits can cause or contribute to excessive feelings of anxiousness. 


Managing your sleep routine can help minimize your feelings of anxiousness. To give yourself the best chance at a successful night’s sleep, be sure you have a cool, quiet, and dark space to sleep in for about eight hours. 


Turn off screens an hour or two before sleep to allow your brain time to wind down for rest, and consider a supplement that will naturally encourage a good night’s rest if you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.


This rest will help your body rest and recover from the stress of the day, and you will be better equipped to handle feelings of anxiousness.


Summary

Anxiousness is typically normal, but that doesn’t mean the effects of prolonged or excessive amounts of feeling anxious are desirable. For some people, anxiousness can be difficult to mitigate.  


You can take steps to minimize anxiousness like yoga, regular exercise, meditation, a calming supplement, and an established sleep routine. Managing stress can help avoid or reduce the negative effects on the body.    


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Sources:

Definition of disorder | NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms 

Adrenaline | hormone.org 

Chronic stress puts your health at risk | mayoclinic.org 

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

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