The Dangers of Anxiety
Updated: Aug 22
Here at New Leaf Counseling, we're starting a new series on anxiety. Our goal is to inform you about what causes anxiety and what happens to your body and mind when you get anxious. Most importantly, we're going to talk about what you can do to reduce your anxiety. The bulk of this series will focus on anxiety reduction, and we want to encourage you to read along and give each tip and idea a try. We're going to start with a short post about what anxiety is and how it can affect you. The act of reading about anxiety may cause you to experience anxiety, but it's essential to your mental health to understand the whole picture. Having an overall understanding will help you down the road to implement our suggestions for reducing anxiety. It will also aid you in noticing what helps and what doesn't.
In most cases, what we're really anxious about is uncertainty. When we don't understand the big picture or know what the future has in store for us, we get anxious. That's why these first few posts are essential.
Every single person experiences anxiety from time to time; it's a feeling, a state of mind. It's our body's way of motivating us to get in gear or anticipate and react to a potential or future threat. A degree of anxiety can be a good thing, even if it doesn't always feel great. It helps us prepare and stay motivated. For example, if we didn't feel anxious about a test, we wouldn't have a strong drive to study. If you didn't experience high alert in heavy traffic, we might be more susceptible to an accident.
The dangers of anxiety arise when we are anxious too much and too often. We live in a fast-paced world with many demands of our time and attention. This constant exposure to stimuli can cause our anxiety to spiral out of control. Certain hormones like adrenalin get released into the body when we experience anxiety. It also causes our heart rate to go up, which can cause our breathing to increase, putting us in a fight or flight state.
It is perfectly normal to experience feeling anxious from time to time. However, what is the outcome when you are in a constant state of anxiety? What happens when you get anxious more frequently, and the body has no chance to calm down? What happens when we're always on high alert? Our bodies pump more and more adrenalin and cortisol into our system, and we stay wound up and anxious, longer, and longer. This tension results in a lot of chronic stress on the body and mind. This type of anxiety is what we, here at New Leaf, are going to work towards reducing.
This post is not about never feeling anxious again; It's about finding and restoring balance, health, and wellbeing.
Here at New Leaf, we hope you join us in this series on anxiety. We encourage you to read each post, try the suggestions and tips, and pay attention to how you feel.
As always, if you need additional support on this or any area regarding your mental health, we would be honored to help you.