We have all heard about the reasons that stress and anxiety can be bad for you. It can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, headaches, fatigue, and sleep problems. In fact, studies have shown that too much stress and anxiety can actually cause depression so many people who have anxiety disorders also have depression. But can anxiety actually be good for you in some ways? Yes, it actually can be good for you.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
First of all, let’s talk about what anxiety is. Everyone experiences stress, nervousness, or fear sometime in their lives but for most people, it goes away pretty quickly and easily. However, for those with anxiety disorders their worry, fear, and nervousness does not go away and will actually get worse as time goes on if it is not treated. You may not be able to stop obsessing over an issue like whether someone is going to judge you or if you are going to make a mistake at work. For example, someone with social anxiety disorder constantly worries about being scrutinized by others and those with generalized anxiety disorder worry about everything all the time. Some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- Worrying over everything or one specific thing all the time
- Sleeping changes such as sleeping less or more than usual
- Inability to concentrate or make decisions
- Rapid heart rate
- Shaking hands
- Buzzing in ears
- Sweating and flushing
- Chest pain
- Racing thoughts
- Panic attacks
Protecting You from Danger
The first thing that anxiety does is it protects you from dangerous situations. The reason that some things instill fear and anxiety is because they can cause us harm, either physically or psychologically. Our body is wired to protect us from harm, so we can live longer. The fight or flight response is an important part of this. When you are afraid or faced with some kind of risk or threat, your body will experience an increase in adrenaline to help you get ready to run away or fight. Your muscles get tensed up, your heart rate increases, and you start sweating. These physical effects help you become more alert, physically able to perform, and increases our energy. As long as this is not a feeling that you have all the time, this is one benefit of anxiety that we can all use.
Anxiety can also help motivate you to act when you normally may not have done anything. For example, when you are facing a challenge, the pressure will help motivate you to prepare and act on what needs to be done. If you have a test and you are anxious about getting a good grade, anxiety can give you the motivation to study harder. However, if you have an anxiety disorder, you may see a problem in every situation and spend too much time trying to fix things that don’t need to be fixed.
Communicating with Others
Another way that anxiety can be a benefit is because when we are anxious about something, we typically feel the need to share this with others. This is your body’s way of helping you find support for what is bothering you. This is one reason why online counseling is important. To learn more about online counseling, check out BetterHelp.com. Because it is healthy to talk to others about your thoughts, feelings, worries, and fears. It is the only way you can work things out sometimes. If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety, talk to an online therapist today. You don’t need an appointment and you can contact them anytime you need them.
*About the Author: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.