We’ve All Heard Of Or Experienced Anxiety, But What Is It?
It’s reasonable to say that most of us have experienced the negative impacts from feeling under pressure from time to time. These feelings are a normal part of life, but how each of us react to these emotions is quite different. Stress and anxiety can have much more than mere temporary effects, though.
Stress can be defined as our body and mind’s reaction to pressure or a feeling of uneasiness with the present situation or environment. This feeling of stress can be triggered by the danger of a wild animal suddenly appearing or when you are worried about “getting in trouble” at work, school, or with your home life.
While stress can be an important factor in motivating us to act in our best interests or prevent us from being harmed in potentially dangerous situations, it also has the ability to be quite harmful if it’s left to run rampant in our minds and bodies. The fight or flight response, which is triggered through hormones, keeps you from staying in a relaxed state even when being stressed is not necessary.
More than simple stress, anxiety can be looked at as perhaps a level above it. If stress is your response to external pressure and fear, anxiety is described as your body and mind’s response to that continuing stress.
When these feelings of anxiousness or constant stress become the norm and it becomes increasingly difficult to control or manage them, you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder. Out of all the different types of mental health challenges, anxiety disorders are by far the most common. In the United States alone 40 million, or nearly 1 in 5 adults, experiences an anxiety disorder every year. In the last 100 years, particularly the last 20 years (with the birth of the internet and social media), humans have been subjected to previously unheard-of levels of pressure and stress.
How Stress And Anxiety Tie Into Our Natural Health And Wellness
While anxiety is often attributed to stressful or traumatic events, this is not necessarily always the case. There are complex risk factors, which can include chemistry in the brain, genetic dispositions, and even certain personality types.
What further complicates anxiety disorders is the reality that these disorders are often coupled with forms of depression. When you are feeling anxious all the time, your worldview can tend to become quite negative, which feeds depression. When depression is present and your outlook of the world is very negative, it’s easy to see how anxiety and fear can easily take hold as well.
A common misconception with anxiety disorders, especially among those with little experience with them, is that they solely affect your mood and state of mind. Oppositely, anxiety can have profound and dangerous impacts on your physical state of natural wellness. Your body’s neurotransmitters send information throughout your nervous system, which can then wreak havoc across multiple systems. The heart can experience tachycardia and irregular beats. Muscles can contract and remain tense for extended periods.
Breathing patterns can be disrupted, causing unnecessary stress on the heart and body as a whole. Strong feelings of anxiety can reduce blood flow from the organs in your abdomen to your brain. As we’ve discussed in some of our previous blogs, your gut is also directly connected to your brain through a series of complex nerves, or what’s also known as the gut-brain. There are dozens of organs and body systems that can all suffer from chronic anxiety.
Join Us For Our Upcoming Multi-part Blog Series On Anxiety
Throughout the next several weeks and months Danu will highlight some of the issues associated with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. We invite you to learn about these conditions not only for your own knowledge, but for loved ones who may be going through these challenges. We’ll detail and discuss these issues, as well as offer information on how they may be lessened or treated with natural alternatives like CBD, other cannabinoids, functional nutrition, herbalism, and integrated wellness. We look forward to having you join our community in finding natural paths to wellness.