What are anxiety symptoms?
Behaving in an apprehensive manner activates the body’s stress response. The stress response causes a number of physiological, psychological, and emotional changes in the body to enhance the body’s ability to deal with or run away from danger. These changes can cause a wide variety of sensations. We call these sensations anxiety ‘sensations.’ These sensations result from an active stress response and subside when the active stress response ends.
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. When stress responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can cause the body to remain in a state of semi stress response readiness. We call this state, stress-response hyperstimulation, since stress hormones are stimulants.
When the body becomes overly stressed and stimulated, the body can exhibit symptoms of stress – and long after an active stress response has ended. We call these lingering symptoms ‘anxiety symptoms.’ We call them anxiety symptoms because behaving in an overly apprehensive manner is the main source of the stress that causes the body to become overly stressed and then symptomatic. (Anxiety attack symptoms occur when the body experiences a high degree stress response.)
Anxiety symptoms are actually symptoms of stress. We call them anxiety symptoms because behaving in an overly apprehensive manner is the main source of the stress that causes the body to become stress-response hyperstimulated, and then, symptomatic.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 2016.