Stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on how your immune system functions.
As humans, we experience anxiety from time to time; we like to worry about things that have not and are highly unlikely to happen. But if you are a chronically anxious person, your quality of life could be compromised. Although considered a mental illness, anxiety can have physical manifestations as well. Here are three ways your body reacts to anxiety.
When you’re feeling overly anxious, you might start to feel your heart rate increasing. It could also result in jitteriness and shallow breathing, according to Healthline. An article published in SheKnowsoutlined some activities to help with this physical reaction to anxiety.
Anxiety-induced palpitations may improve with meditation, exercise, yoga, tai chi or another stress-busting activity. Additionally, deep-breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises can also help.
Too much worrying and over-thinking can alter the way your excretory and digestive systems work. It can result in stomach aches, nausea, diarrhoea as well as a loss of appetite. This is because when you are stressed and anxious, the stress hormones enter your digestive tract, interfering with digestion. Healthline suggests that there could be a link between anxiety and the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Most people who struggle with stress and anxiety often report feeling as though they are having a heart attack. Erica Curtis, a licensed marriage and family therapist said:
Whether [it’s] anxiety or a heart attack, however, seek a doctor’s advice. Your doctor will hopefully be able to clarify if the symptoms are related to a medical problem or caused by anxiety. If the culprit is anxiety, if not treated, it will likely worsen.
Whatever the cause might be, tightness in the chest, especially if accompanied by other symptoms should be reported to a doctor immediately.
Healthline: Effects of anxiety on the body
WebMD: How Worrying Affects the Body
Mind.org.uk: Anxiety and panic attacks