How anxiety affects your physical health,the medical explanation.

When you encounter a perceived threat a lots of things automatically take place in your physical body to warn of danger. As most of you know, it’s called the flight or fight syndrome.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with the brain regions that control mood, motivation and fear.

All of these responses are good and natural, IF YOU’RE IN AN EMERGENCY! But our bodies are not designed to respond to everyday situations as if an emergency and when it does, it’s harmful, not helpful.

The body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. The adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, heart rates and blood pressure return to normal levels. Everything starts to calm down.

But when stressors are constant and we constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays activated.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with your life stressors.

God did not build our bodies to be treated this way. He created the “fight or flight” response to alert us to real danger, not perceived danger.

Depression is often accompanied by anxiety and anxiety absolutely triggers the fight or fight response. So depression can be considered life-threatening. That’s why it behoves us to manage our depression and avoid anxiety.

If for no other reason than now being aware of how our bodies respond to perceived threats the same way as they do to real threats, maybe you will see the importance of getting better for your physical health alone.

Sometimes, imaging a peaceful scene can calm us down.

a peaceful beach scene with a beach chair at the water’s edge. An antidote to fear.

Sometimes if we have a reason that seems more practical and more easily understood, we find a stronger motivation.

God bless and have a great day.

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