From time to time we all feel anxious…that uncomfortable feeling you experience when you have to speak in public, take an important test or when you aren’t sure how you’re going to pay a credit card bill. Some degree of anxiousness is a normal part of living, but sometimes it can interfere with getting the most out of life. Feeling anxious becomes a problem when it occurs consistently, over things both large and small and with a reaction that is out of proportion to a given situation.
Constant worry like this can interfere with sleep and daily activities, such as work, school and relationships. Even occasional feelings of anxiousness, if the response is severe, can hinder performance. Crippling anxiousness over things like job interviews, dates, social situations or crowds can limit your options and life opportunities.
Anxiousness May Feel Like:
• A racing heart
• Dry mouth
• Feeling like you can’t catch your breath
• A sense of impending doom
The Adrenal Glands and Anxiety
Anxiety is part of the stress response—a life-saving device sometimes called “fight or flight” that is powered by your adrenal glands. In a moment of emergency, the adrenals flood the body with the stress hormones adrenaline, nor-epinephrine and cortisol, leading to an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism and energy. The stress response is meant to be temporary and occasional, enabling us to fight our way out of the crisis or flee. But the adrenal glands don’t differentiate between major momentary stress and the chronic stress that our modern lifestyle breeds. If you constantly worry about work pressure or financial obligations, your adrenals keep sending stress hormones into your system. This not only overtaxes the adrenals, but also keeps you in a constant state of anxiety.