Last Updated on May 4, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
Living with anxiety can be quite problematic. However, it doesn’t always have to be viewed as a bad thing. In many cases, it’s related to our “fight or flight” impulse. It’s when you find yourself in an anxious state for long periods of time and quite frequent when it can cause health issues. What can you do when your adrenaline simply won’t stop pumping?
Separating Bad and Good Anxiety
Anxiety itself isn’t necessarily the problem a lot of people have. It’s the mental and physical stress that accumulates if it’s not put into check. It’s OK to feel anxious or nervous when going out on a first date. But wallowing in that anxiety over the next few days will surely prevent a second.
If our ancestors cringed each time they felt anxious or needed a “safe space” to feel good about themselves, there would have been no explorers or inventors to give us the technology and progress of humanity we have today.
The important thing to realize is that not all cases of feeling anxious mean you suffer from an anxiety disorder. It just means you’re human. Too many people are quick to self-diagnose whether looking for sympathy or just because they are hypochondriacs. I’m not saying everyone who suffers from anxiety attacks fits in this category. But a lot of people do.
With that being said, a lot of people suffer from problems like these. I am one of them. There’s a few things that immediately set off my temper or increase my stress levels. In some cases, I can feel my blood pressure rise to the point of feeling my pulse in my neck without touching my fingers to it.
What are a few common identifiers when it comes to these kinds of problems?
Severe anxiety can easily lead to sleep disorders. I am speaking from experience in this one. When the heart starts pumping and the adrenaline courses through your veins, it makes it increasingly difficult to shut your mind down. As a result, you’re not at your best in personal nor professional life.
A lack of sleep can lead to things like poor judgement, lack of focus, decreased ability to rationalize and decreased mental acuity. This means that you’re more prone to accidents whether physical or mental.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Now, I know that studies suggest how stress can impact irritable bowel syndrome. Luckily, I haven’t experienced this during my own situations. However, there is a lot of evidence that points to the potential of IBS caused by a stressful environment. As anxiety is a precursor to stress, the two can easily be linked.
Constant Muscle Tension
Muscle tension is a sure sign of being overly stressed and anxious. You may notice this in your neck and back as your body is in a constant state of fight-or-flight. Over time, it may start to feel like lead through your body instead of muscle tissue.
Although I’m not as tense as I used to be from anxiety, I still am in dire need of a good massage. My tension is caused mostly by the poor working conditions I am in, though. Soon that will change as I plan on moving back to Colorado before the end of this month.
Self-consciousness is a problem for a lot of people…including myself. I feel this all the time, especially when I get in front of the camera for my YouTube videos or when I stream on Twitch. While I think making content is fun, I still go through a great deal of anxiety when producing the videos.
People can be self-conscious about anything regarding themselves. Whether it’s weight, hair style, eye color or even a lack of teeth, anyone can find something about themselves they do not like. The hardest part is moving past that anxiety and actually enjoying the situation.
Ways to Move Beyond Feeling Anxious
There are a number of things anyone can do to help alleviate stress and feel less anxious about the world. One of the most common is that of meditation. I find this to be truly relaxing, if you’re able to get a few minutes of peace without someone interrupting you.
What else can you do to gain some composure?
Put Things Into Logical Perspective
This is perhaps one of the more difficult ways to handle anxiety. Putting things into a logical perspective is extremely difficult as stress promotes an illogical frame of mind. This is why a lot of people have irrational fears. The capacity to analyze a situation rationally is difficult when the mind is racing.
However, I’ve found putting things into proper perspective to solve anxiety almost instantly in many situations. It just goes to show how quickly the human body can adapt and change gears when you honestly put in the effort. I’m not saying it works all the time, but it is quite beneficial if you’re able to correct your mindset.
Remove Elements that Cause Stress
Eliminating the things that cause the most anxiety can greatly make your life easier to manage. While you might not be able to remove yourself from all situations, it can be very beneficial to get rid of what you can.
Case in point, I’ve eliminated a person who caused me a great deal of anxiety and stress over the last 10 years from my life completely. I have to admit that I still feel a bit of animosity towards him when I talk about this person. However, I am no longer stressed out when the phone rings or if I get a text message.
Sometimes you also may need to remove yourself from loved ones for your own health. This is perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I am doing much better physically and mentally overall. It’s not selfish if you need to remove yourself in order to literally save your life. It’s called self-preservation.
After all, I am no good to my family if I am dead. Although that may sound melodramatic, my heart condition would say otherwise.
Take Time to Relax Yourself
Relaxing is a difficult thing to manage for many people. A lot of us are drawn to chaos and need to keep life on the move. Personally, I’d rather keep my sanity and deflate when too much gets shoved into my personal bubble before it pops.
Relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean meditation. You can read a book, go for a walk or even play your favorite video game. Find what allows you to unwind and make sure you schedule it for yourself every day. Otherwise, the anxiety could continue to compound until you start suffering a myriad of stress-related illnesses.
Eat Healthier, Such as More Fruits
I’m not just including healthy eating because this is a health and fitness website. Consuming more fruits is beneficial for the brain. Studies show how eating a daily allotment of fruits reduces the risk of stroke. There’s also evidence to show how antioxidants from fruit improve memory and reduce the threat of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s safe to assume that anything helping the brain is also going to impact your ability to think and reason.
Cognitive actions, whether voluntary or involuntary, start with the general health of your brain. The better condition your head is in, the better you will process information. This means you can think more clearly and rationally while enhancing the ability to remain logical.
This isn’t some new-age, holistic medicine information, either. These aspects are all documented scientifically with plenty supporting evidence. Eating better and getting exercise improves the power of your mind.
There’s No Sense in Walking Around Tense
I still have days where I get panicked from certain ringtones on my phone or see a message from a specific individual on Facebook. However, I am far better off than I have been in the past. Sure, there will be moments when it can feel like it’s too much. As long as you don’t lose control and keep your mind focused, you can alleviate many of those symptoms of stress. Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing, until it directly starts affecting your life for the worse.