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Does anxiety make you tired and why?

When thinking about anxiety, several scenarios may come to mind: restless nights of endless throws and turns, fear of potential future events, pandemic-related overwhelming, or full-blown panic. A seizure. Even if you have not been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, you may be experiencing anxiety symptoms at some point in your life. In these situations, you may experience stomach discomfort, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, chest tightness, chin / neck / shoulder tension, or anxious thoughts when preparing for the worst-case scenario. .. But does anxiety also tire you?

After experiencing these symptoms, you may certainly feel tired. The sensations can fall anywhere in the range of fatigue, from just running a marathon and having to sleep for two days to feeling a little tired and wanting to get a nap right away.

Below are seven ways anxiety can deprive you of your energy and how to recover it.

1. Stress hormone overload

Anxiety can tire you by overloading your body with stress hormones. The “fight or flight” reaction is an important relationship between anxiety and malaise. In fact, this process consists of three stages: alarm, resistance, and wear. Anxiety triggers our body’s system to become highly alert. This is a natural, involuntary reaction that occurs in the human brain for survival.

When humans live with the real imminent threat of being attacked by predators, it makes sense for our bodies to take action without much preparatory thought. Such dangers are rare in modern times, but our brains continue to react as they did thousands of years ago.

Hormones and chemicals that flood our bodies to prepare for safety can affect or affect some body systems, and this interaction itself contributes to fatigue. increase. Adrenaline and cortisol are the two most notable hormones to work on here. First, adrenaline is delivered to strain your muscles, increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and prepare you to run. Later in the stress response, cortisol is released, promoting glucose use in the brain. It’s one of our main fuel sources, so it’s no wonder it contributes to fatigue (see # 2).

You can adjust the baseline levels of these stress hormones by practicing yoga, breathing, meditation, and aerobic exercise on a regular basis.It’s easier to stick to these routines Relief during stress When you have already learned to use them when you feel calm.

2. Increased blood sugar level

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hyperglycemia (hyperglycemia) and has been shown to be associated with anxiety in diabetics. Many people who experience hyperglycemia report constant fatigue, regardless of the amount or quality of sleep, nutrition, or exercise.

This relationship shows more common and long-term effects in diabetics, but it also occurs in non-diabetics exposed to psychiatric stress. In fact, for everyone, a natural stress response raises blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, all of which raise blood sugar levels. This means that anxiety causes a double hit of fatigue associated with fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Calm down instead of reaching for comfortable foods like chocolate when stressed Walk around the blocks.. It is a great stress reliever that helps regulate blood sugar levels even with gentle movements.

3. Negative thinking

Anxiety can also tire you due to repetitive negative thoughts (RNT), a common symptom of anxiety. RNT includes continuous thinking with rumination (sticking to sad or dark thoughts focused on the past) and worry (anxiety about the future). Some researchers argue that having a long RNT habit can impair the ability of the brain to think, reason, and form memory. While the brain is busy using its energy storage to fuel negative thought patterns, it reduces the energy available for these other more productive efforts.

Negative thoughts can also disrupt or interfere with healthy sleep patterns, keep our minds competing at night, and effectively disrupt our energy during the day. (See # 7)

Reduce these patterns by reconstructing emotions about anxious thoughts. Focus on what you can do here now, rather than being obsessed with “what if”. What activities can I do in 5 minutes (or more)? Bring you joy?? What are you grateful for, no matter what is happening around you?

4. Digestive problems

It is common to experience both bowel and mental problems at the same time. This suggests that there is a strong connection between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract known as the cerebrointestinal axis. Simply put, what happens in our digestive tract (and as a result of what we eat) affects the brain and vice versa.

The gut microbiota is a complex population of gastrointestinal microbes. When that balance changes, the body can develop conditions that affect the gut-brain-endocrine relationship. The endocrine system produces and manages adrenaline for beginners. And the production of pleasing hormones (serotonin and dopamine-see # 5) by gut bacteria is also involved in this relationship.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors are also found in gut microbiota. GABA is a natural brain relaxant that makes you feel better by helping your body relax after stress-induced release of neurotransmitters (such as cortisol and adrenaline). Low GABA activity can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and mood disorders. These are just a few of the symptoms that show how gut bacteria affect behavior. All of this contributes to feeling physically and mentally tired.

By balancing the gut microbiota with fermented foods rich in probiotics, the symptoms of depression and anxiety can be minimized. Living culture yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, miso soup and tempeh are the best foods to include in your diet.

5. Depression

Anxiety and depression are often closely related. Studies continue to show a complex relationship between depression and serotonin depletion. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter for regulating mood and well-being. Anxiety is also a direct symptom of serotonin deficiency. Serotonin helps with healthy sleep, mood and digestion.

Serotonin is produced in the intestine, almost without exception, at an estimated 90 percent. However, small amounts are also produced in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that is crucial for transmitting energy balance signals. This small conical structure receives and relays signals transmitted from the gastrointestinal tract via the vagus nerve. It plays a central role in mediating stress responses, regulating sleep, and establishing circadian rhythms. It senses and reacts to a myriad of circulating hormones and nutrients, directly affecting our mood and energy.

Dopamine is another mood-boosting neurochemical that is depleted of depression. It produces a sensation of arousal and arousal, and when the body is operating normally, it is released more in the morning (taking into account energy during the day) and in the evening (preparing for healthy sleep). Stress is one of the factors that can deplete dopamine, which causes depression, sleep disorders, and malaise.

Studies show that dopamine levels in the brain can be increased by increasing dietary intake of tyrosine and phenylalanine. Both of these amino acids are naturally found in protein-rich foods such as turkey, beef, eggs, dairy products, soybeans, pea, lentils, and beans.

6. Breathing problems

Shortness of breath and anxiety are closely related, and this is one way anxiety can make you tired. Anxiety can lead to shallow breathing and can cause shortness of breath, but feeling shortness of breath can exacerbate anxiety. This is a vicious cycle, and people often breathe rapidly and shallowly, breathing into the chest and upper shoulders.

This type of breathing minimizes oxygen intake and ease of use. Our brain occupies only 2% of the body, but consumes 20% of the body’s oxygen supply. Oxygen is the fuel for both mental and physical tasks. This can cause considerable fatigue if the breathing pattern impairs healthy oxygen levels.

Intensive breathing ends the cycle of anxiety and malaise. It is important to practice this regularly when you are not feeling anxious or stressed. This helps prepare for unexpected moments of breathtaking anxiety.

There are several different styles of breathing. There is something called “resonant breathing” that you can easily try. Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to 5, and exhale, counting to 5. Repeat this for a few minutes. It is especially helpful to intentionally relax the neck, shoulders and chin to notice tension.

7. Sleep problems

Most of the factors already mentioned are essentially related to sleep problems. This is often the reason why anxiety makes you tired. However, it is important to note that this is not necessarily a direct linear causal process. Many of them are periodic. Insufficient quality of sleep increases the risk of excessive cortisol production, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, depression and mental illness, and dysregulation of appetite / thirst hormones that affect digestive health. increase.

Sleep is clearly the number one antidote to fatigue as a result of anxiety. But at the same time, many of these factors, including anxiety itself, lead to irreparable sleep. Address each element described here and A positive approach to our sleep health..

One of the simple habits that can help you readjust your circadian rhythm for a healthy sleep pattern is to go out in the morning. Exposure to sunlight early in the day regulates melatonin production and helps sleep at night.

You don’t have to live an anxious and exhausted life

Times of extreme stress in nerve-wracking situations, such as driving in heavy traffic or speaking in public, can easily trigger anxiety reactions. Even “ordinary” everyday stressors, who are overwhelmed by their work and home responsibilities, can become more anxious over time.

Our body’s response to stress and anxiety affects many of its functions in a complex way. Elucidating the interrelationships of these processes reveals how each part plays an essential role in contributing to fatigue. By addressing each element individually, you can make simple lifestyle changes that eliminate anxiety and, as a result, reduce the way we get tired.

More tips for dealing with anxiety

Featured Photo Credits: Joyce Kelly via

Does anxiety make you tired and why?

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