What is anxiety and is it that bad for us?
Where does our anxiety response come from?
But first off, is anxiety that bad? Doesn’t it protect us from making the wrong decisions sometimes? Anxiety to a reasonable extent is not that bad. It is like a psychological throwback to an earlier evolutionary time. A time when our ancestors had to be on constant alert. They needed to be ready to call upon their fight or flight response. When they were being chased by predators or when an enemy was lurking around every corner ready to attack them. Anxiety was a means to survive and not that much of a bad thing. But nowadays, we do not need anxiety to that extent anymore.
What's the impact of this heightened anxiety response?
In the present day, for some of us, anxiety strikes at the most unexpected moments. It makes us imagine that things in our lives are far worse than they really are. The effect of those anxieties can be quite debilitating. Anxiety can result in fear, uncertainty, and the avoidance of certain behaviours. It affects our ability to function normally, and even convince us that we’re losing our minds. Frustratingly, it often even leads to other related psychological conditions, like substance abuse and mental disorders. The strange thing is, we don’t need that amount of anxiety in this current society anymore. But we experience it almost to the same extent as our ancestors who were running away from predators.
The first stress-inducing trend: Increased expectations of ourselves and each other
The second stress-inducing trend: Increased media exposure and transparency
The third stress-inducing trend: The surreal interconnectedness of everybody nowadays
The subconscious, negative effect of social media
The world is so beautiful because we can connect with everyone. It is amazing. But is it really? Do you really feel a proper connection with those thousands of people you’re linked with on social media? I haven’t met a single person who does. Every time we engage with social media content our conscious mind thinks “this is not an important connection and I am not going to care too much”. But, at the same time, your subconscious is triggered as well. Every time you scroll through your social media feed, consciously you might think:
- That person again who always wants to look pretty
- Hello person who is always travelling
- there’s that person again who is really making a career for himself
However, our subconscious might think:
- I also want to have that person’s looks
- I would like to be travelling now as well
- I am never going to be promoted
Every time you open your social media feed, you open up a can of anxiety-inducing worms.
Social media pulls you away from living in the present and enjoying the current moment. My grandmother never used social media and she was the happiest person on earth. I swear! She was enjoying all these little things, like a squirrel jumping around in the garden or the mailman stopping by for a chat. When I lived in Nepal, many Nepali people didn’t have an internet connection, let alone social media. Though, I never saw such a happy and, at the same time, poor country.
Social media's positive contributions
Nevertheless, social media does add something to our society as well. We can maintain connections better and can get inspired and informed more easily.
But it certainly has increased the amount of anxiety that we are experiencing. I’m not the only one saying this. Researchers have found that using social media extensively causes more than just anxiety. In fact, testing has found that frequent internet usage can lead to depression, mental disorders, paranoia, and loneliness.
The symptoms of excessive anxiety (or generalized anxiety disorder)
Everyone has anxiety from time to time. No big deal. It is part of being human. Chronic excessive anxiety, however, can interfere with your quality of life. It can have serious consequences for your physical health. Anxiety is really toxic and to drive the point home, I would like to share twelve of its many negative implications.
- Feelings of impending doom resulting in difficulty to concentrate
- Panic Attacks
- Irregular heartbeat
- Breathing problems
- Loss of libido
- Upset stomach
- Extreme fatigue
- Increase in blood pressure
- Muscle aches
I’m not listing these negative effects to make you feel anxious, but I hope to plant the seed of awareness about the importance of coping with anxiety the right way.
Next, if you detect one of the anxiety symptoms I just listed, then please talk to a professional. It would be my honour to help you find the right support. Just drop me a note and I’ll let you know what online and offline support channels I recommend. Amplio primarily helps prevent you from getting to the stage where you exhibit these symptoms. As a result of following our online course and make anxiety management a part of your daily routine, you will eradicate severe anxiety from your life. Anxiety ebbs and flows, you’ll experience periods of heightened anxiety alternating with periods of barely any. Through Amplio’s lessons, you’ll always be able to manage the downs, and enjoy the ups.
Amplio is at your disposal to make anxiety a fly on the wall. Sometimes it will buzz annoyingly through your life, but you’ll always be in control of it.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (2019, October 15). Physiopedia, Retrieved December 10, 2019 from https://www.physio-pedia.com/index.php?title=Generalized_Anxiety_Disorder&oldid=224435
2. Anxiety in the West: Is it on the rise? Medical News Today, Retrieved December 10, 2019 from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322877.php#1
3. Adaa.org. (2000). Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. [online] Available at: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics.