fbpx
Anxiety Sucks! What causes it?
Anxiety Sucks! What causes it?

Anxiety Sucks! What causes it?

Anxiety is skyrocketing

The pandemic has been a tough time for all of us. We had so many changes thrust upon us one after the other. The whole world has changed, and it seems like it will be like this for some time to come. That is a choice we didn’t make, but we have to live with the repercussions. However, this kind of change came with fear, displacement, and death.

Many people have experienced a profoundly ingrained response that many of us didn’t realize could influence us. A acute stress response that is automatic when you perceive a threat. Our body’s have a natural reaction to danger. It is a stress response when a growling dog charges at you or a dinosaur chases you. It is our “flight-or-fight” response.

Anxiety Sucks

It is exhausting to feel like you need to run or fight on a daily basis. I have anxiety that was only diagnosed about four years ago. In retrospect I have experienced it most of my life and didn’t identify it. I was born in the 60s and anxiety was considered rare and the focus was more on the psychological symptoms; Headaches, back pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, etc.

Causes of Anxiety

People can develop anxiety for soooo many reasons. Anxiety can develop because of a childhood trauma, PTSD, life history, and coping skills. There are substances that cause the same physical response like some medications and caffeine. If you wonder what anxiety feels like try a few cups and coffee and see how you feel.

Many people develop anxiety during the pandemic. Covid-19 has disrupted every part of our life; ongoing lockdowns, loss of loved ones, social isolation, economic distress its all too much at times. Recent studies have shown that PTSD, fear, and worry has increased people’s anxiety. As a matter of fact, there is a 26% globally since the beginning of 2020.

Some people a high sensitivity because their neural circuitry is compromised and they experience threats when there isn’t one.

What are the research findings

Researchers have learned that anxiety has a biological basis and runs in families. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of American There are risk factors that may cause anxiety to develop; genetics, brain chemistry, environment, life events, personality, etc.

As many as 10-20 % of older adults commonly develop anxiety though it may present itself differently. Perhaps they don’t pay attention, preference to being alone or talk excessively about their favorite subject regardless of others interests. The point is anxiety can present itself in so many ways.

What my anxiety feels like.

Anxiety affects the way you think, feel, behave and function. You may experience irrational dread of every day situations. I started avoiding social situations because I was afraid I would say the wrong thing and everything in life would go downhill because of it. I look at it is the “what -if” game; what if I say the wrong thing – and it offends the wrong person – and everyone hates me – I lose my job – I can’t get another job because I don’t have that recommendation and on and on. I would replay the situation all night long and lose sleep over it.

Whatever the reasons – I have anxiety.

Some anxiety comes with being human. It saved our ancestors! Anxiety is like a jolt to the body that says “pay attention, there may be danger coming and you have to do something”. Sometimes I don’t recognize that I am experiencing it. My husband will ask me why I am being so restless. I have to stop and think and honestly sometimes I don’t have an answer. For me it’s been such a part of my life that I only notice when I experience extreme physical responses. Like shortness of breath, pounding heart beat, urge to run, etc.

Whether is genetics, learned behavior, past stress response or whatever caused the anxiety – you are here. So now what? Is this our new normal?

Treatment

Like many issues, anxiety needs a professional analysis and depending how intense may require medical treatment. There are medications and therapy to help you return to some calmness in every day situations. Medications can ease symptoms, therapy can help with find coping mechanisms when you are faced with anxiety.

I like to use exercise, diet and hobbies to help me with my anxiety. According to Harvard Health, studies show that exercise changes your brain chemistry with feel-good hormones and builds resilience against anxiety emotions. Avoiding sugary foods and eating things like complex carbs, which boosts brain calming chemicals, is part of the diet that I have instilled. Lastly, hobbies are incredible at calming the mind and generally make me happy.

Learning to cope with anxiety and manage is the best way to move forward. Focus on the positives of life and find happiness.

Bottom line – there are multiple ways to handle anxiety. How do you handle anxiety? Please share your thoughts and comments.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: - Hiking For Mind & Body - Over 50 Healthy Living

  2. Pingback: In Your 50s – Back To School - Over 50 Healthy Living

  3. Pingback: Get Moving with Your Health - Over 50 Healthy Living

  4. Pingback: Let’s Normalize Mental Health – May is Mental Health Month - Ians gone outdoors -

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: