Fact: Anxiety puts your body on high alert. You feel like you’re facing danger and as a result, your heart rate goes up, your palms get sweaty and you start to get stressed out.
While this can be a good thing from time to time, for example when it motivates you to prep for a test or an interview, it can also be unpleasant.
Most importantly, for most of us survivors of narcissistic, it can be completely useless. We tend to get anxious about things completely out of our control. In those cases, there’s no benefit to the anxiety, stress, and putting your body on high alert. All it does is make us feel terrible and cause us to lose sleep.
Speaking of which, loss of sleep or insomnia is one of the negative effects of anxiety. Lack of sleep doesn’t make for a good day and it will negatively impact your performance for the day. Long term bouts of insomnia will also take their toll on your body.
Anxiety is a state of stress and duress. During times of stress, our body releases a hormone called Cortisol. This, in turn, has been linked to weight gain. Add to it the fact that many people grab for comfort foods, chocolate, or salty snacks when they are feeling stressed and anxiety can lead to quite a bit of weight gain.
This, combined with the added stress and lack of sleep, adds to a risk of heart disease. In other words, anxiety can be physically debilitating.
While it takes some time for the physical debilitation to manifest itself, the mental effects of anxiety are immediate. With severe anxiety, it can be hard to function in everyday life. You constantly seem stressed out and fearful.
As anxiety starts to spiral out of control, you may come up with coping mechanisms like avoiding stressful situations and people. You may no longer be able to go grocery shopping except during off hours for example. Some people are no longer able to leave the house at all because of severe anxiety issues. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is quite debilitating.
For many survivors, high anxiety can lead us right into depression. It gets hard to find the energy to get out of bed in the morning and face life. Being on high alert and pumped full of adrenalin is exhausting. Staying in bed seems like a much better alternative.
Don’t forget: If you find your anxiety starting to negatively impact your life or your health, please seek professional help. You can do this through traditional therapy, or by getting a coach or even joining a group coaching program. While anxiety can be debilitating, there is help out there and various tools that help you return to a normal life.
Here’s one of my favorite, simple ways to relieve stress – a good, old-fashioned nap.