Part 1: What is anxiety?

Part 1: What is anxiety?

We will under the upcoming four weeks publish four articles about anxiety. This is something we want to do to spread knowledge, talk about how common it is and to encourage discussions so that we can all help each other. Fitness & health - 2

We have all experienced anxiety more or less on different levels and it is very important to talk about it and spread knowledge about it. Not only to help the ones suffering from it right now, but also for the ones standing close to someone or for the ones who will experience it in the future. Anxiety can unfold in many different ways depending on person and situation, which means that everyone has their own experiences of how it feels. The most important thing about handling anxiety, regardless of experience, is to understand why some symptoms and feelings might appear and how your body reacts when the anxiety kicks in.

It is very common to get worried when all the symptoms are appearing during anxiety and it might be hard to get your mind to focus on something else. It might also be hard not jumping into conclusions and think that the heart race and the heavy pain in your chest is a symptom for a heart attack, the numbness in your arms and legs as a stroke and the nausea and headache as something is wrong with your brain. Important to know while feeling anxiety is that all the feelings and symptoms your feeling in your body has a logical explanation and it is called the fight or flight response.

What is the fight or flight response?
The fight or flight response is a reaction from your body which appears when your brain thinks that you are in a dangerous situation. This body reaction was life changing in the past since all the people had to make decisions every day just to survive the day. Our lives are obviously a lot safer today but our brains can not separate a real threat from everyday worries. This means that our brains and bodies are getting ready to either fight or flight and this reaction might come with a lot of different body symptoms. Your body is exuding stress hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline which can give symptoms like nausea and dizziness. Your heart is also racing because it needs to provide the bigger muscle groups with acidic blood, this is also a reason why numbness might appear.

Important to know when it comes to anxiety and the fight or flight response is that all the feelings are temporary, the feelings and symptoms can not harm you and it always goes away eventually. Overall, feelings are not controlled by the will and in a lot of cases it makes us do what we need to survive, for example jump to the side if a car is driving straight at us. It is very important to accept all these feelings to be able to handle them and the key to acceptance is talking about it together and spreading knowledge.

In the next article we will share our best advice for handling anxiety.