How Anxiety Affects The Body

Oct 21, 2021

The 8 commonly accepted signs of anxiety in the body are;

  • headache.
  • insomnia or other sleep issues (waking up frequently, for example)
  • pounding heart or increased heart rate.
  • rapid breathing or shortness of breath.
  • stomach pain, nausea, or digestive trouble.
  • sweating.
  • trembling or shaking.
  • weakness or fatigue.

I've discovered a few more this week;

  • low energy.
  • listlessness.
  • unfathomable disinterest.
  • unhelpful memories.
  • flash forwards - when you see a future possibility very clearly in your mind's eye.

It's been a tough week!

Anxiety Inducing Plot Twists

This week was supposed to be a number of things - busy, productive, celebratory even. The publication of my new book on Amazon after months of dedicated effort was definitely a cause for both gratitude and cheer.

Instead, my week became hijacked by a group of unexpected plot twists.

In fairness, the run-up to the week had been tricky - two funerals, a number of significant shifts in the family dynamic and a summer of major house renovations.

Still, when a Plot Twist happens, when events occur outside your realm of control or expectation, it can be difficult to retain your composure and keep gliding like the proverbial swan.

We use the phrase Plot Twist to add an immediate sense of levity to a situation, to diminish the potential to fixate on the negative. This week it has helped a lot.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, a worry or a fear. As the body perceives this stress, your adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. This increases your heart rate and blood pressure.

None of these events are particularly pleasant. In fact they seem to date back to the original sensations of fight or flight when we needed to be ultra prepared and alert to danger.

The greater the fear, the greater the range of symptoms we may feel.

What Is Anxiety, Really?

Despite the very real sensations created by the hormones raging around our body, anxiety is a phantom. It's not rooted in reality.

Anxiety is a concern about the future. It is, therefore, a fear of what MAY happen.

None of this matters though when it hits you unexpectedly. The symptoms are real and can be debilitating.

So how do we win?

We KEEP REMINDING OURSELVES that just as something MAY happen, it also MAY NOT. In fact, the only thing we do know (with our growing understanding of the laws of the universe) is that what we focus on materialises. So, focusing on only great outcomes actually has a positive impact on our lives.

I experienced many of the unexpected symptoms of anxiety this week in response to a few plot twists in my life, but right now I am focusing on great outcomes. Outcomes in which everyone involved is happy, healthy and loved. This helps me in the present. It makes me feel happier right now. It reduces the anxiety over something that is not real and keeps me sane in the moment. (Well, as sane as I'll ever be!)

Here's a very short video of Benedict Cumberbatch in which he summarises a simpler approach to life, a less anxious future, a more empowered today. Have a look and give yourself a few minutes to think about what it means for you.

If you suffer from anxiety when faced with unexpected changes in your life, get in touch. My regular weekly newsletter contains lots of ideas, insights and inspiration to help you cope with anything. Join the mailing list right now and you'll even get a free ebook of uplifting and amusing quotes - The Time Of Your Life.

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