What is Anxiety & What Are the Symptoms?
Anxiety can mean different things to different people but generally anxiety is what we feel when we are scared and feel like something bad is going to happen. It’s the body’s natural reaction to when we feel under threat or stressed. However, anxiety in some people can mean a lot more than just feeling worried – it can result in physical symptoms which can affect day to day living.
Symptoms of Anxiety include:
- Stomach issues – from a churning sesnsation in your tummy to IBS and bloating
- Rapid heart beat
- Headaches and migranes
- Chest Pains & difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- Panic attacks – which can start like a tingling sensation in your head and progress to struggling to breathe & heart palpitations.
- Constant worrying
- Insomnia & trouble sleeping
- Struggling to concentrate, procrastination and remember things.
But What Causes General Anxiety?
There are many reasons for anxiety which you can explore further at https://www.mind.org.uk but we’ve highlighted 5 common causes below which are often experienced by young females and females in fitness.
1. Social Media, Perfectionism & Pressure
One of the biggest reasons for anxiety in young females is social media. We are the millennial generation which has been responsible got the growth of social media and social influencers. Social media has so many positives – it can be a place to go for advice, support and normality. But at the same time social media Is a great place to show false information.
For example, photo shopped images and images which perhaps appear to be idealist have created a world where there are social expectations and as a result we often compare ourselves to others on social media Through comparing ourselves to those on social media we are essentially highlighting non-existent flaws and feel a pressure to look and be a certain way. This results in many people feel anxiety.
2. Mental & Physical Exhaustion
Anxiety is our body telling us “something isn’t right”. For females in fitness a key reason for anxiety is the body doing too much and becoming exhausted. Overtraining and over exercising can cause physical exhaustion along with a lack of rest and sleep. Not only that, but mental exhaustion is also something to be aware of. Are you tired all the time yet are well rested? Being anxious and stressed can lead to overthinking and worrying which is mentally exhausting for our mind & body!
3. Stress & a Stressful Environment
Pressure doesn’t just exist from social pressures – we can also feel pressure from work, life, friends & family. For example, an unhealthy relationship at home or a high demanding job can be key causes of pressure and stress. Being in a stressful environment can make you stressed & anxious – especially if you spend a lot of time in that environment. Many of us spend 40 hours a week at work – so if you’re working in a negative and stressful environment, it can eventually really take its toll on the body!
4. Being isolated & Lonely
A symptom of anxiety is socially isolating yourself to stay safe but when we do that our anxiety can get worse and thus creates a negative cycle. Being alone means you only have yourself to talk to – this means you’re more likely to overthink and come up with logical reasons to support irrational thinking! By being around others you can think about something else, socialise and even use a friend to help you think differently.
5. A Bad Diet & Alcohol
Eating a bad diet is bad for physical health right? So it shouldn’t surprise you that its also bad for your mental health. Too many unhealthy foods mean a lack of nutrients, whereby vitamin mineral deficiencies can become a reason for anxiety. Some key nutrients to watch are magnesium and vitamin B6 and B12. Not only that, but if you struggle from weight issues and body dysmorphia then eating very unhealthy may also make you think differently about your appearance which can trigger anxiety.
Alcohol is great to enjoy on social occasions and in moderation but the after-effects of drinking can also make us feel anxious – this is totally normal so don’t be too alarmed but be sure to drink in moderation and not every night.
Take Home Message
Hopefully we’ve highlighted a few areas that might be responsible for some feelings of anxiety. Anxiety is a medical condition which needs addressing so If you feel symptoms of anxiety be sure to talk to your GP. To find out more about anxiety types and causes we recommend visiting Mind.org. – a great mental health organisation.
To find out ways in which you can manage your anxiety check out our article on 5 Tips to Manage Anxiety.