When we’ve been diagnosed with a health condition, or are concerned about our health, it’s natural that we head to Google for some answers. Anxiety is no exception to this; whether we’re having an increased amount of anxious moments or have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, we’ll dive into Google for answers. We’ve answered 9 popular Google searches which begin with ‘why is anxiety…?’.
Why Is Anxiety Worse In The Mornings?
There are a couple of reasons why we might feel more anxious in the mornings. On a biological level, our bodies release the hormone cortisol to help us wake up. Unfortunately, this is the same hormone that’s used in our fight or flight response.
We’re also going from a nice lie down on a comfy bed, to getting up, dressed, and out of the door, quite often, in a short period of time. This change can increase our stress levels. Many us also start our day with a cup of tea or coffee. Unless we drink decaf, these drinks contain caffeine which can increase our anxiety levels.
Additionally, on a morning, we look ahead at what the day might hold which could include some situations which may cause us to feel anxious. As the day goes on, we conquer more and more of these situations. So, by the time we get home on an evening, we have less to worry about than we did that morning.
Why Is Anxiety Worse When Tired?
Everything feels more difficult when we’re tired. Anything we have to do feels like it takes twice as much effort as it would take if we weren’t tired. Any challenges that crop up can feel even more overwhelming than they normally do, and use up our cognitive functions. Being tired can affect how our brain processes emotions. Being sleep-deprived can make the worriers amongst us more prone to anxiety than we would be if were getting enough sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep (even though that can be particularly difficult when we’re anxious!) can be a really important tool in managing our anxiety.
Why Is Anxiety Increasing?
Nationally, anxiety in adults has actually decreased since 2012 with the mean score for anxiety, marked out of 5, dropping from 3.13 in 2012 to 2.91 in 2017. Anxiety in young people has risen slightly, with self-reported symptoms of anxiety or depression increasing from 18% to 21% between 2009 and 2014. We might feel like anxiety is on the increase because we speak about it more now than we might have done 10 or 15 years ago. It’s also reported more in the media now than it might have been in the past.
Although there is no single cause of anxiety, various aspects of modern life could contribute to feelings of anxiety. This includes things like how much we use technology, and the fact that many of us spend a lot of our lives connected to social media, where people tend to post their highly-edited, carefully-curated lives, the pressure put on children and teenagers at a young age through the way that our school system is set up, and the increase in the amount of choice we have these days – this can increase our anxieties over making a ‘wrong’ or ‘imperfect’ choice.
Why Is Anxiety Bad?
A certain level of anxiety can be okay and normal, even. It can help us to perform to the best of our ability in exams, at work, or in sports games. Anxiety can also help to keep us safe. It can help us to recognise things or situations which might be harmful to us.
However, when anxiety goes beyond ‘normal’ levels and reaches the point where it’s a diagnosable condition, it can have a negative impact on our everyday lives. It can affect our friendships, jobs, relationships, health, and social lives. Anxiety can leave us in the position where we feel unable to do things we enjoy. It can have a knock-on effect on our mood and can make things like leaving the house or visiting the dentist feel completely impossible.
When anxiety reaches this level, it’s bad because it has a really negative impact on our lives. This doesn’t just affect us but it affects those around us, too.
Why Is Anxiety So Scary?
Anxiety forms part of our ‘fight or flight’ response. It can raise our heart rate and cause us to feel genuinely fearful. The problem is, that when we live with abnormal levels of anxiety, we feel scared of things that it’s not necessarily helpful to feel fearful of (like leaving the house). It can be incredibly debilitating and disabling and that in itself is a scary thing.
The physical effects of anxiety can cause us to panic. They can make us feel like something dreadful is happening in our body. At times it can feel like we’re going to die – particularly if we don’t realise that it’s anxiety that’s causing our symptoms. Sometimes we experience intrusive thoughts and those can be scary and distressing, too.
For some of us, anxiety can seem to come out of nowhere and hit us at any time, anywhere. This unpredictability is scary – we don’t know when it’s likely to hit us, whether we’ll be somewhere safe, and whether we’ll be around people who understand it.
Why Is Anxiety So Tiring?
Anxiety can be exhausting. It can be hard to relax when we feel anxious. Our bodies are always ‘wound up’ and ‘on the go’ with no downtime. This can be incredibly tiring because our bodies rarely get the chance to rest and recover.
Mentally, our brains can go in spirals. Our thoughts never stop pin-balling around our heads so we don’t experience much quiet. This can be really tiring because we don’t get any time to let things settle. We don’t get a break.
If all this wasn’t enough, anxiety can also affect our sleep. It can stop us from getting to sleep, and then wake us up regularly during the night. Even if we do manage to be in bed for a decent amount of time, we might not wake up feeling rested. The combination of a body always on the go, a mind always on the go, and a lack of sleep, can wear us out very, very, quickly.
Why Is Anxiety So Common?
5.9 % of people in the UK experience Generalised Anxiety Disorder. An anxiety disorder is different from feeling anxious from time to time.
Anxiety is a spectrum. Pretty much everyone will experience some level of anxiety at some point in their life. That’s just part of being human. We often speak to our friends about being anxious, particularly at stressful times in our lives. But feeling anxious, and living with an anxiety disorder are not the same thing. Sometimes it’s hard to work out whether our anxious feelings are ‘normal’ human emotion, or whether they’re a symptom of mental illness.
Why Is Anxiety A Thing?
Anxiety has always been part of human life. At times it can be really useful. It’s part of our body’s survival mechanism. It alerts us to things that might be dangerous. When we feel anxious, our senses are heightened and our thinking speeds up. In the past, these things could have been an advantage. It would have helped us to fight off predators.
Nowadays, we don’t have predators in the same way as we did in the past, but we still come up against dangers and scary situations. Anxiety can still be useful; it can stop us from running in front of a car, help us perform in exams or at work, and help us to run faster or win matches.
Unfortunately, for some of us, anxiety crops up at times when it’s not useful. Not only does it pop up at unhelpful times, but we can also feel the symptoms of anxiety incredibly strongly.
Why Is Anxiety Caused?
Lots of different things can cause anxiety. There are things that happen internally that cause us to feel anxious. These are often set off by external events.
Our anxieties could be due to bad experiences that we’ve had in the past – whether we can remember them or not. We could be fearful of things because things people have told us stuff about them. Or because they’re things we’re not used to or situations we’re not comfortable in. Some of the things which commonly create anxiety for people can include money worries, work stress, a new job, loneliness, bullying, or exhaustion. Some medications can also cause us to feel more anxious.
Biologically, for those of us with anxiety, sensory signals are misinterpreted or wrongly perceived by our brain. Our brain activates our sympathetic nervous system at times when it doesn’t need to. Our sympathetic nervous system becomes over-activated when causes a ‘fight or flight’ response within our bodies.
It’s natural that we want to find more about the conditions that we are diagnosed with, or symptoms we may be experiencing. Google can seem like an obvious place to turn for some reassurance, but sometimes we end up with more questions than answers. We can always book an appointment with our GP or another health professional to talk over anything we’re worried about.
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