Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the US, affecting more than 18 percent of the population every year.
Often characterized by feelings of nervousness and over-excitement, anxiety often carries with it a host of hidden symptoms that may be even more disruptive than the obvious.
Disrupted Sleep Cycles
Have you ever laid in bed, watching the clock, mentally calculating how many hours you have to sleep before the alarm goes off? Chances are, someone who is experiencing anxiety has. What’s worse is that the more they watch the clock, the more anxious they get about the fact that they are not sleeping. This only serves to further disrupt their sleep schedule as they lay awake, quietly watching time tick by.
Or perhaps they are able to go to sleep but wake up every hour or so to check the clock to make sure the alarm is set.
Lack of Appetite / Eating Too Much
Anxiety can wreak havoc on your appetite.
If anxiety is connected to an overactive fight or flight response, some people will react with slowed digestion and increases in indigestion and constipation.
For others, anxiety translates into loose bowels, and an overactive craving for simple carbohydrates.
What’s worse, these easy-to-digest foods are often high in fat, high in sugar, and high in calories without much nutritional value.
However, a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that diets rich in whole fruits and vegetables reduce anxiety levels in children, teens, and adults.
Lack of Concentration
What sometimes appears as inattentiveness is often rooted in anxiety.
Our body is equipped with a fight or flight response that prepares us to fight off predators or run away from danger. In these moments, our pupils dilate and our muscles absorb ready sugar in the bloodstream.
When anxiety kicks in, this response does as well, even when the danger is not real. What we’re left with are heightened senses without the ability to sift through the stimuli and focus on what is important ahead of us. It’s no wonder someone who is experiencing anxiety has a hard time concentrating on simple tasks, much less complex work assignments.
Anxiety and unexplained pain go hand in hand when you think about it. The physical tension that so often accompanies anxiety can lead to muscle spasms, muscle tension, headaches, and back, neck, and shoulder pain.
This heightened sense of awareness coupled with muscles ready to spring or pounce can lead to significant pain and discomfort throughout the body if the anxiety is left unchecked.
Don’t let anxiety rule your life or your body. If you are experiencing these symptoms of anxiety, call our office today or schedule a consultation online. Not only can we help you put a finger on what you are feeling, but we can also help you find a way to conquer your symptoms and live a less anxious life.
*Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback does not diagnose medical conditions. Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback is a non-medical, medication-free program for children and adults who struggle.