We can all relate to feeling stressed out and anxious over one thing or another. Stress is a normal experience. We all have stress and feel anxious from time to time.
Chronic stress and anxiety, however, is a serious problem. It can be detrimental not only to your mental health but your physical health as well.
Anxiety is one of the most common experiences and mental illnesses a person can have. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) it affects nearly 40 million adults in the US alone.
Whether you’re diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (like Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Panic Disorder) or you are dealing with chronic stress and constant worry without a diagnosis, it can cause some major issues over time.
It’s important to know exactly what the impact of it looks like so you can recognize it and find ways to cope with it.
So what do people with anxiety actually experience anyways? What does it look like?
some common experiences of anxiety include:
Keep in mind there is a wide range of experiences and you may not experience all of these even if you have an anxiety disorder.
It’s important to note there may be other reasons you could be feeling these things so you should never assume you have an anxiety disorder without talking to a doctor.
Now that you know a little more about what anxiety looks like, let’s talk about how all of this can affect us physically.
As if anxiety wasn’t hard enough to deal with, some of the symptoms can cause hormonal or behavior changes that can lead to fluctuating weight or even unintentional weight loss. And although anxiety doesn’t directly cause weight issues, it can greatly contribute to them.
how anxiety can cause weight issues:
Stress and anxiety are unavoidable for all of us, but when you’re dealing with it consistently, it can be more detrimental to your health than you might have thought.
It’s part of why I focus on mindset in my coaching. Even if you’re doing everything right, if you don’t find a way to manage stress, it can be a powerful contributor to stopping you from reaching your goals.
And eating healthily and working out regularly may be a little more challenging when you’re dealing with anxiety, but they can also greatly improve it as well.
If you are struggling with anxiety and stress you should find ways to manage it and of course, if you feel it could be an anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor.
Take some time to destress tonight and remember how important it is to your health. It’s not always easy to prioritize yourself, but it is necessary.
Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.