Three Surprising Long Term Health Effects of Anxiety
Giving a presentation, going for a job interview or being late for a flight are all things that would make most people feel quite anxious! Being nervous, afraid or worried about certain events or situations is completely normal, and usually the unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings subside after the event passes or difficult times improve.
But, when you suffer from chronic anxiety and you’re feeling on-edge and worried everyday, that is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Chronic anxiety can be overwhelming, often because it’s difficult to identify the exact cause of it. It seems to take on a life of its own, permeating every part of your life.
Being in a state of anxiety for long periods of time takes its toll on your body and your mind. Unfortunately, so can some of the coping mechanisms people use to manage stress and anxiety. There are some healthier strategies than others. Meditation, taking a herbal remedy for anxiety and regularly exercising are all healthier alternatives to a big bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine.
The most common long term effects of anxiety include:
- Reduced Immunity
Being stressed out and feeling anxious over a prolonged period can have a detrimental effect on your physical health. Stress and anxiety can cause our nervous system to overstimulate the production of white blood cells – the ones that fight infection.
While this may sound like a good thing, over time too much stimulation of the white cells causes the immune system to become suppressed, meaning you are more likely to pick up viruses and infections.
Certain conditions can be made much worse by feeling continually anxious. Sufferers of stomach and bowel conditions such as IBS and Crohn’s disease can see an increase in flare ups. Psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions can get worse. Everyday coughs and colds can take far longer to recover from if your immune system is not in tip-top condition as a result of ongoing anxiety.
- Palpitations and Chest Pains
The long-term activation of the stress hormones in our body can raise the heart rate, causes chest pains or heart palpitations as well as increasing blood pressure levels. Unhealthy coping strategies such as smoking, drinking or even overeating can also damage the heart and surrounding blood vessels. Those who have been dealing with anxiety disorders for many years have an increased risk of suffering from heart attacks and heart disease as they get older.
- Aches and Pains
Stress can cause the muscles to contract or tighten, which can lead to aches and pains from muscle tension. The most common places for stress to manifest itself as physical pain is in the neck, shoulders and lower back. Headaches and migraines are also common with those suffering from long term anxiety.
Ease Anxiety Naturally
There is no simple cure for anxiety, and for many who struggle with it on a daily basis, it can feel like things will never get better. Be kind to yourself when you can, practice self-care and seek therapy or professional help if you feel it could make a difference. Experiment with different activities and find out what works for you.
St John’s Wort – A Herbal Remedy for Anxiety
St John’s Wort has been used traditionally for centuries to help relieve low mood and anxiety. It is often used as an alternative to pharmaceutical anti depressant medications
HRI Good Mood is a THR licensed (Licence Number THR 02231/0002) and provides the strongest dose of St John’s Wort available on the UK market.
Try using natural remedies to relieve anxiety and share what works for you and get some more ideas by joining our HRI Facebook Community, we’d love to hear your thoughts.