Anxiety is a common feeling for most people. However, it can viewed as problematic when anxiety starts to consume your thoughts or when you feel paralyzed by anxiety. Many times people will start to feel that anxiety is an issue when they have obsessive and intrusive thoughts or are unable to participate in certain activities. Additionally, there are ways that anxiety impacts your body. Outside of anxiety causing excessive negative thinking you may have issues with sleep, stomach aches, and twitching.
Anxiety Impacts Your Body: Why can’t I Sleep?
Anxiety impacts your body by ruining your sleep. Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep as considered sleep issues. When it’s time to sleep you may be thinking, replaying dialogue, highlighting insecurities or having negative racing thoughts. The body is unable to relax enough to get into a natural sleep pattern. When sleep is disrupted you will wake feeling tired and/or moody. Your brain has not had the opportunity to recover from yesterdays anxiety. Thus the brain will pick up where it left off the night before because it never stopped.
In counseling, you are taught how to manage challenging thoughts so they are not intruding into your bedtimes routine. You are taught strategies to help you consider minor adjustments to your bedtime ritual. Additionally, you are taught ways to reclaim your sleep experience.
Anxiety Impacts Your Body: Why is my stomach in knots? What happened to my appetite?
Anxiety impacts your body by causing stomach issues. Many people have labeled their stomach issues as “bad nerves” when it is in fact anxiety. Many athletes and performers experience anxiety before a big performance. They may have an urge to vomit, poor appetite, runny bowels or “butterflies”. We refer to anxiety experienced by athletes and entertainers as performance anxiety. You too experience performance related anxiety whether it’s for a presentation at work, meeting a new group of people, visiting an unknown place or having to meet an expectation. Some anxiety is good but what about that anxiety that paralyzes you and gets in the way of you meeting your goals.
Anxiety impacts the appetite as you may no longer be able to eat or may feel queasy when you do eat. Before a new experience or when you may be trying to achieve a goal (even sleeping) your stomach may be turning. Having digestive issues is a common byproduct of anxiety. Noting what triggers your stomach issues will be helpful in learning ways to better manage the triggers. For example, if you experience anxiety when socializing. What are some strategies that can help you with adjusting to social situations without experiencing anxiety.
Anxiety Impacts Your body: Why does your eye twitch at random times?
Anxiety impacts your body by causing twitching. When a stressor is present your body may react by having spasms i.e. twitching. The most common form of muscle spasms is eye twitching. Have you ever experienced a few days where your eye twitches for no known reason? If you have, I’m sure you didn’t attribute it to anxiety. For example, if you are stressed by meeting a deadline at work you may notice a few moments or several moments where your eye may twitch. Eye twitching is typically brief but can be very annoying.
Mind Body Connection
Our bodies respond to what’s happening in the brain. When the brain can no longer take it our body receives the anxiety. The brain is where you tell your body what to do. The most effective way to stop anxiety from impacting your body is to deal with your anxiety. Not sleeping alone can cause so many other issues in your body. Taking care of your mental wellness will solve the issue many of the physical effects of anxiety.