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Mind & Body: What Causes Anxiety?

Updated on June 22, 2012

Hi and welcome to my first foray into the complexities of the mind, and how it can affect our everyday lives. My name is Lew Newmark and I decided that it was time for me to delve into an area that interests me for many different reasons, but the most important reason is that I expect that much of this exploration will be a valuable insight into my own mind and how it affects me...and I invite you all along for the ride.

Here i something that I noticed many years ago and maybe this is something that you've picked up on yourselves...

You get up in the morning and go through your usual routine as you get ready to get ready to go to your job. You have your morning cup of coffee, and grab that scrumptious crumb coffee cake and down that cup of juice.

Then as you start to put on your slacks or your jeans, your work shirt and possibly a tie and head out the front door you start to get that know the feels a bit like butterflies in your stomach doesn't it?

And then you begin to question why you feel that way, and that leads to a sudden nervous feeling that invades your whole being. Before you know it you've turned right around and re-entered your home and crawled back under the covers.

What you've just experienced is called "Anxiety," sometimes also referred to as a panic attack. Just what is anxiety anyway?

It's definition according the Oxford Dictionaries is as follows...

noun (plural anxieties)

[mass noun]1a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome: he felt a surge of anxiety
Psychiatry a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks: [as modifier]: she suffered from anxiety attacks
[with infinitive] strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen: the housekeeper’s eager anxiety to please

While the definition gives a dry explanation of what anxiety means, the question remains what causes it to happen?

While there are several factors that may cause an anxiety attack including environmental factors, genetics, and substance abuse, but what I want to focus on is the brain and it's chemistry. Here is a bit of information taken from an article from the Medical News Today website...

Brain chemistry

Research has shown that people with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain are more likely to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. When neurotransmitters are not working properly, the brain's internal communication network breaks down, and the brain may react in an inappropriate way in some situations. This can lead to anxiety.

Over the years, I have found myself suffering from anxiety attacks, and while I haven't exactly turned around and went back to bed, I have been adversary affected by them. In my case, I think that (and this is not a scientific explanation of why this happens) but I think that in my case, even today when I go to a job that I really do not enjoy going to, I get that nervous moment as I get ready to go to said job.

Does the mind have it's own secret agenda or is it just our own psyche sabotaging us?

I think the answer differs from one individual to the next, but just remember that the mind can be a tricky master.


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    • animekid profile image

      animekid 5 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hello MellyMoo

      Thanks for your insightful comment on a new subject for me. I think in my case, my anxiety triggers as I think about my work day beginning (which by the way will be starting in about two hrs) and just because I think of some of the garbage that I will have to deal with, I get over anxious and that leads to the anxiety that I feel.

      Of course I think (in mu case at least) being under constant stress does not help the situation either. I'm in that place where I have this job that I hate, but I need it to help meet the bills...and then I'm not getting enough hrs to justify going there.

      It's that "Catch 22" predicament ...damned if I do or don't.

    • MellyMoo profile image

      MellyMoo 5 years ago from Australia

      I have suffered from anxiety Abit over the years. When i was a teenager, i discovered alcohol was a great way to escape it:) & the odd cigarette too. As an adult there were times where i would get it so badly that i could not do my job&would have to go home as i couldn't think straight. By far the worst anxiety that i have ever had though, occurred about a year ago, where i would get it suddenly &for afew days at a time. It was a whole body feeling, like depression, & little things seemed like huge things, it was very scary&only an increase of my antidepressant medication helped at the time. Obviously there are many levels of anxiety&some can be understood (going to the dentist for example) & others that are completely irrational (eg. Dropping a pen&feeling completely overwhelmed with anger, fear etc). Whatever the cause, i think it is our body telling us we are out of balance&need to change our ways