Anxiety is a natural feature of our lives, unless it becomes Intrusive and consistent! Prolonged anxiety can lead to an increase in unhealthy physical and emotional states – which can eventually be more resistant to change, and may cause us longer term harm.
We all experience anxiety at various times, and some anxiety is indeed useful and necessary to keep us safe from harm, or to drive performance.
So how do we know what is healthy, and what might be less so?
Are you becoming aware of any of these changes in your personality traits that are hanging around:
- Anger – with increased irritability, decreased tolerance for others.
- Increase in unhappy emotional feelings.
- Alcohol or other substance being taken with an Increased frequency.
- Reduced sex drive.
- Decline in performance and concentration at work.
- Interrupted sleep or unable to fully relax.
- Loss of social interest.
- Reduced interest in the fun things!
- Headaches and muscle tension.
- Mind chatter (monkey-mind).
- Increased urinary output – stress bladder (poly-urea).
- Reactionary, rather than considered responses.
Any of the above, and perhaps more besides may – when we are subjected to for prolonged periods, lead to physical and psychological dis-ease!
I’m going to add an alarming ‘extra symptom’, number 13 – Chest pain!
If you are previously without an assessment or diagnosis for any chest pain that doesn’t relieve within 5-10 minutes, call 999. If there are any associated chest pain symptoms, such as referred pain to the jaw, or arms – call 999 immediately! (See GP *urgently* for any self-relieved pain).
Maximise Efficiency – Immune system, shut-down!
Our body is clever! Little point maintaining resources to an immune system if we’re about to be eaten by a lion, or run over by traffic!
When under heightened duress, our body very quickly prepares for that fight/flight response, switching ‘off’ that which is unnecessary in order to preserve life under threat. And that’s is clearly a wonderful thing! However, if we allow our fight/flight response to become a default setting, then we can become immuno-suppressed. And this has the potential to be significant to our longer term wellbeing and survival.
Are we ‘too available’?
Not only to the smartphone, social-media, our bosses and family. We are also ‘too available’ to a belief we are in some way choice-less! We have to react but rarely do we ask ourselves, “Why?”
What would happen if I…
- left my reaction to the ‘demand’ at that moment, and considered a response when under less duress?
- become aware of just how my body, my mind feels at this very moment and ask myself – “Am I really looking after me?”
- considered any outcome of not attending to a demand immediately?
- took myself off for a 15 minute walk, or simply away from the phone/desk…?
We can and do have an innate ability to take more care of ourselves – and the irony is, we get to perform better when we do think and behave with self-care.
Want to re-learn how?
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Other useful resources Anxiety United – Mental Health Network