The amygdala (the brain’s alarm located in the limbic system which is the emotional part of the brain) is activated during dangerous, stressful situations or perceived threats. The fight-flight-freeze response is the body’s natural reaction to danger. It is a type of stress response that puts a person on high alert to help them react to perceived threats like a near miss with a vehicle.
In a stressful situation the brain sends a signal to the body which releases adrenaline into the blood. This response will increase a person’s heart rate and allow oxygen to be released to help the person respond quickly to the danger. When the situation is over the anxious feelings disappear.
However, anxiety can become an issue if you feel you are always on high alert all the time as it can affect your body and your mental health.
Prolonged anxiety can be cause by life events for example: work, trauma, finances or relationship issues. Though, for some people the reasons for feeling anxious is unknown to the conscious mind.
Some examples and symptoms that could indicate that you may have anxiety, are:
. Avoiding social situations
. It can cloud your judgment
. Make situations feel worse than they actually are
. Unable to sleep or sleeping too much
. Irritable, impatient and angry
. Feeling a sense of dread or frequently worrying
. Feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
. Irregular heartbeat
. Feeling sick or needing the toilet more often
. Feeling panicky
. Hyperventilation (breathing too heavily or struggling to breath). Feeling lightheaded
. Choking sensations
Symptoms can vary from person to person; they can last a long time or come and go.
Talking to a therapist can help you find ways to cope with difficult situations, identify techniques to help you relax or support you in your relationships.
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