We all know anxiety – it’s when we worry or feel uneasy about a future event that may or may not actually happen. Many of us let our anxiety grow out of proportion to the actual concern or threat of the event.
With today’s high-pressure lifestyles, everyone has some level of anxiety, so what’s to worry about? Research has discovered that recurring anxiety causes a number of changes in the body that, if uncorrected, can lead directly to an increased incidence of disease.
Anxiety presents a unique challenge to our bodies. When your body is challenged, you put out stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin) that help you cope with the situation. We all need these hormones to survive, they protect us. But at the same time, we need to control them so that when we don’t need them, we can turn them off.
Medical science identifies the concept of chronic anxiety as the inefficient operation of this stress hormonal system. This can occur when 1) the body turns on these hormones and doesn’t turn them off, or 2) when they remain on for too long, like when we’re sitting at home after a day’s work, yet we still feel stressed out. Problems occur when the over secretion of these hormones goes on for a long period of time.
Current science about chronic anxiety emphasizes the fact that things which really effect most people’s health over the long term are not dramatic life events, but our day-to-day problems – the wear and tear that we all experience in one degree or another. These effects may accumulate over months and years to cause anxiety-related physical and emotional changes in our body.
Chronic Anxiety Consequences
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Fast heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle aches
- Muscle tension
- Nervous energy
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Trembling and twitching
Protecting against Chronic Anxiety
Here are some of the most common ways to protect our bodies against over-exposure to stress hormones:
- Seek family / social support
- Withdraw from potentially destructive confrontations
- Practice regular moderate exercise and a healthy diet
- Seek counseling and/or psychotherapy
- Make meditation or quiet time part of your daily routine
- Use of natural or pharmaceutical medicine to stimulate defensive responses to stress
While we emphasize the need for all methods of protection against anxiety, at Liddell we try to armor ourselves by including the additional use of our Anxiety + Tension spray from our Letting Go line. We’ve found that it helps us let go of the stress currently affecting us, and to move forward productively.
Jana Taylor is a staff writer for Liddell Laboratories.