The human body has its own, in-built response to danger. When people feel fear, their bodies are immediately flooded with a potent chemical known as adrenaline. This is called the natural fight-or-flight response given that adrenaline is a very action-oriented hormone. It makes the heart pump faster and incites people to move. In times past, this was an ordinary and acceptable response to common danger. Now, however, it is a physiological process that's largely wasted on a modern generation that has little to worry about.
Although you aren't still actively hunting for all your food or living in a habitat that requires you to be on the constant lookout for predators, this prehistoric response to perceived danger still exists and it continues to have an impact on your personal chemistry. People can get surges of adrenaline in the workplace, while driving their cars or while sitting in their own homes.
In addition to adrenaline, your body also produces cortisol hormones. These have a similar effect on your immediate well-being, but they are more likely to get released when you feel anxious or tense. Too much cortisol in the body can make a person more predisposed to fat storage around the midsection. This usually comes in the form of visceral fat as well, which is dangerous fat that surrounds the organs, rather than being deposited and stored on top of the muscle and just under the skin like the far less dangerous subcutaneous fat that most people have.
Not only does constant anxiety and fear upset your internal chemistry, but it can also wear out the glands that excrete these hormones. This is a development that is commonly referred to as adrenal failure. For women, adrenal failure can result in the early onset of menopause. It can also lead to the development of dark patches or spots on the skin called melasma.
Adrenal failure and the storage of unhealthy, visceral fat around the midsection are but a few of the ways that constant anxiety and fear can negatively impact your physical health. These emotions can also have a major effect on your emotional health. This is especially true if they are left unchecked.
Surprisingly, prolonged anxiety can lead to sleep troubles and even chronic depression. It is nearly impossible to enjoy any aspect of life if you are constantly afraid. People can also have a hard time focusing which can result in poor performance at work or school.
People who suffer from problems like chronic anxiety and depression often feel as though they are powerless to correct these issues. In reality, however, there are a number of organized activities that can alleviate negative emotions and help people establish positive and proactive mindsets. These include diaphragmatic breathing, cardiovascular exercise and routine social engagement among many other things.
Signing up for a yoga class is a great way to alleviate anxiety and tension. This eastern practice teaches mindfulness and breath consciousness while simultaneously conditioning all parts of the body. With this meditative, non-impact exercise, you can learn how to enter and maintain a calm state, irrespective of the challenges that life might throw your way.