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Being overwhelmed is more than a distressing feeling. Severe anxiety actually does overwhelm our brain, altering the way it functions, and may cause problematic physical symptoms as well.
When we feel overwhelmed it can seem as if our brain has been hijacked–because biochemically speaking, anxiety does hijack the brain.
Our brain, when flooded with stress, can reduce the energy allocated to other areas of the body such as our digestive system. This can cause the other systems to jump their tracks and function abnormally.
Some areas of an overwhelmed brain simply shut down, in an attempt to relieve the stress. Anxiety also alters the way hormones and neurotransmitters are manufactured and released, which may cause changes in thought and feeling.
Intense anxiety makes it problematic to concentrate, not only because our brain has gone a bit haywire, but because our thoughts tend to rally around our stress. So, one thing we can easily focus on is the anxiety.
Accompanying our anxiety laden thoughts may be tearfulness, a sense of hopelessness, or even an anticipation of doom. Feelings of impending doom, that you will soon experience something terrible, often accompany symptoms of panic. These unnerving feelings set the physical self on edge.
The physical issues related to anxiety are sometimes the most overwhelming. We might have chest pains, rapid heart rate, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, or light-headedness. These sensations can be so distressing the mind fixates on them, increasing our anxiety.
The only way to stop overwhelm is to address the roots of our anxiety or depression, which may require the help of a mental health professional. However, until the deeper issues are resolved, there are things we can do to knock the wind out of overwhelm.
Source: html link: Calm Clinic
Photo credit: Sara V. - flickr
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