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The Effects of Anxiety – 7 Surprising Ways it Ruins Your Life

Have you been suffering from anxiety for some time now? Been telling yourself to just deal with it, or not think about it? It’s time to face up to the effects of anxiety on your life.

[Actually a wreck because of anxiety, not sure where to turn? Book an online therapist now, be talking as soon as tomorrow.]

The 7 effects of anxiety you need to stop overlooking

1. Physical health.

You already know it is anxiety giving you a pounding heart, sweaty palms, and muscle tension.

But have you been feeling lightheaded and faint? Dissociated, like you are losing touch with reality? Do you feel strong rushes of energy, then huge crashes where you just want to crawl into bed? And do you constantly seem to have a cold or the flu lately, or have unexplained medical symptoms?

The chemical cocktail released by the brain when anxiety and anxiety attacks throw us into ‘fight or flight’ mode might give us that addictive buzzy high, but it’s also hard on the body. It can stress out the adrenals, leave you dizzy, and mean your immune system is increasingly compromised.

2. Social Life.

Stopped seeing certain friends, because you know they find you overwhelming when you are anxious? Not gone to social events you’d enjoy because you have social anxiety?

Each decision might seem a one off, and you can tell yourself that it’s fine, you’ll get back on track.

But anxiety-driven choices around your social life can snowball into irreparable sabotage of our connections to others, leading to serious loneliness and depression.

Am I stressed or depressed online quiz

3. Relationships.

Anxiety heavily affects our relationships in all areas of life.

You can find colleagues and those you’d like to be friends with just aren’t interested, turned off by the intense or closed off energy and negative thinking anxiety perpetuates. They are unable to see the real you behind the anxiety.

Or you might end up with ‘friends’ you don’t even like. This can look like hanging around other anxious people, even if you don’t really share values. Or bossy people who make the decisions for you. Or even people who are calm but not at your level.

Their grounded approach might ease your anxiety, but the relationship will never challenge or inspire you.

4. Your love life.

As for romantic relationships….

Your anxiety can attract the wrong sort romantically, and lead to continual unhealthy relationships.

Anxiety can leave us vulnerable to those who want to control us. We are so exhausted by our anxiety it seems like they are a saviour, helping us get on track — until they aren’t.

If anxiety in relationships is a huge problem for you, it might stem from childhood. You might have what is known asanxious attachment’, meaning relationships themselves are the root of your anxiety. And the type of person you’ll be romantically attracted to is, sadly, not someone with healthy attachment but someone with ‘avoidant attachment’. Aka, aloof and unavailable.

Sound familiar? Read our articles ‘Anxiety in Relationships’ and “All About Attachment Styles” for more.

5. Talking too much.

Do you have ‘verbal diarrhoea’? Does your blabbing affect job interviews, social interactions, and first dates? Wish you could stop, and wondered for a long time why you can’t?

It’s a myth that social anxiety means you are quiet in the corner. For some, it can lead to a type of hyper-arousal, where they are talking too much and being too ‘big’, only to go home afterwards horrified.

6. Poor decisions.

Always berating yourself with, “What was I thinking??!!”

Anxiety can seem logical in the moment as it is sharp and strong in our heads. But it’s far from logical.

Instead, anxiety causes distorted thinking. And when you aren’t having distorted thoughts? Anxiety can leave you so exhausted you make poor decisions because you are are simply too tired to think things through.

7. And actually, your finances.

Yes, there is argument that if we are anxious about money itself, we might save more of it. But we might also make poor, anxiety-driven decisions when it comes to investing.

As for actually making the stuff, anxiety definitely limits many people’s career trajectories. We don’t apply for certain jobs as our anxiety tells us we won’t get it, or it’s too terrifying, or we can’t move country as ‘think of all the bad things that could happen’. We play much smaller than our potential.

Sick of letting anxiety rule your life? Harley Therapy connects you with top anxiety counsellors in central London, and now UK-wide therapy and worldwide via online therapy with our therapy booking site

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Blog Topics: Anxiety & Stress

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