The word “anxiety” has been taken from â€œGreekâ€ which means â€œto constrictâ€, grab the sensation of tightness physically. We are living in the age of uncertainty, quick life and technology which leads us to anxiety, fear and depression. To get rid of these feelings people start taking drugs, alcohol etc. In scientific language anxiety is known as â€œfight/flightâ€ response. Many times anxiety is normal and a part of human living but if it is more than the normal level it affects our daily activities and then it becomes a disorder. Normal anxiety is a protective response. Anxiety affects the body both physically and mentally.
Effects of anxiety on nervous system
Whenever the body perceives some danger our brain give signals to the nerves of autonomic nervous system that consists of two parts i.e. sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system. The first one gives out the energy for â€œprimedâ€ action of body. Anxiety sometimes immediately shifts the attention to the environment and surroundings because of which a person cannot think about the daily routine and work. The other one helps the body to come back in normal state. Severe anxiety can cause depression, disturbance in relationships, tension and the person may remain in the constant state of worry.
Effects of anxiety on cardiovascular system
Adrenaline is released into the blood which compells the sympathetic nervous system to heighten the rate of heart beat which further increases the flow of blood and the transportation of oxygen to the different parts of body. The increased rate of blood flow strengthens the muscles of biceps and thighs for the quick action. And if the heart rate decreases you may feel alarming but there is not much to worry about because your heart wonâ€™t stop beating.
Effects of anxiety on chest
When the body experiences anxiety it heightens the breathing rate and the action of body quickens. This can even cause choking, breathlessness, pain in the chest, gastric problem etc. when the breathing rate increases and body performs no quick action then the supply of blood to the brain decreases which cause dizziness, confusion, blurred vision etc.
Throat lump and difficulty to swallow
This symptom is known as globus hystericus. In this case throat muscle contract because of anxiety. It makes you feel that you are not able to swallow food properly. It will not cause any harm to you and with the anxiety it will also go.
Effects on sweat glands
Because of anxiety body sweats more making the skin slippery so that it cannot be grabbed easily and also cools the body as it gets heated.
As the flow of blood is more in the muscles it decreases in the fine blood vessels which cause a slight change in the color of your skin from pinkish to white. When your body comes to normal state the skin regains its color.
Effects on respiratory system
During anxiety the rate of blood flow is increased in the muscles whereas blood is needed in the digestive system so as to absorb nutrients from the food. When required amount of blood does not reach to the digestive system then the rate of digestion is slowed down causing diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, indigestion etc.
Dryness in mouth and sore eyes
Because most of the body fluids and blood is sent to the muscles for quick action so your mouth feels dry during anxiety. The best way to get rid of it is to drink water or take some sweets so that your mouth gets lubricated. The dryness will pass away with the anxiety and causes no harm. Anxiety also decreases the lubrication of eyes which make them feel sore and dry.
Sometimes anxiety causes sleeplessness or excess of sleep which is called insomnia. Anxiety and stress also causes bad dreams which may disturb us but have no direct affect on the body.
Depression and suicidal attempt
Severe anxiety may lead to depression and compels the person even to commit suicide.
Effects on endocrine system
The work of this system is to release hormones for the different parts of the body. Its work is only to secrete hormones but cannot control the amount of hormones to be released. This work is done by brain. During anxiety the signals from the brain get distracted and effects slightly on the secretion of these hormones. When the body comes back to normal state the secretion also returns to its normal rate.
Effects on behavior
Anxiety makes the body to act quickly like: – to talk, move or respond in a quick manner. Many times you behave in confused and irrational way. This may also make you to do things which you usually avoid. If no action is performed then the body responses in shivering, tension, stress, guilty, foot tapping, improper speaking etc. These things help the body to give away the feeling of anxiety.