Anxiety may cause many physical complications and jeopardize one’s physical health, even though the origin is due to a mental component. It’s interesting that a mental thing can cause a physical effect. Lets take for example the fight-or-flight response; your system creates the stress chemicals (adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol) causing your heart to race and blood pressure to increase. This response is there to save us from danger, however in many cases when faced with mildly stressful situations we tend to interpret as threatening and instead of it helping us, it causes our brains to overreact to various situations as threatening. However, this continuous exaggerated brain activity can cause abrasions and deterioration to the heart, muscles and brain. There are some individuals that don’t necessarily internalize the daily anxiety and stresses. What makes one individual more prone to struggle with anxiety as apposed to another? Nature and nurture both play an important roll. On the one hand, learning how to react to stress may be a learned behavior, which was modeled by parents and or caregivers. On the other hand, a genetic predisposition to be reactive or calm is another side of the coin.
Various activities to help reduce anxiety
Using all or some of the strategies mentioned above may help reduce stress and bring about an overall well-being, both mentally and physically.
Sara Schapiro-Halberstam, LMHC