In our previous blogs we have discussed the different types of anxiety disorder. Although we might display our anxiety through different behaviours there are some similar processes happening in each disorder.
This week we will explore the thoughts, physical sensations and behaviours underlying anxiety. The more equipped with knowledge we are about what we are experiencing, the more likely we are to overcome it.
The fight or flight reaction. When we feel anxiety, or fear, we experience a physical response. Adrenalin is released and has an impact upon our bodies, as can be seen summarised in the table below.
- Adrenalin and cortisol release
- Breathing increases
- Heart rate increases
- Energy directed to heart, muscles and breathing
- Digestion stops
- Noradrenalin released
- Breathing decreases
- Heart rate decreases
- Energy redirected to other organs in the body that aid in digestion, absorption, excretion and other essential functions
If we are someone who feels anxious all of the time, our bodies are constantly releasing adrenalin, making us alert. Whilst this can be helpful to motivate us to act, too much adrenalin over a long period of time can have negative impacts upon our body and lead to stomach aches, nausea, headaches and fatigue. This is why, particularly in young children, anxiety is often recognised through physical problems.