3 Surprising Causes Of Anxiety

Written By

Fiona Lam

Certified neuro-emotional technique (NET) practitioner and naturopath

I’m not stressed, I’m fine.“, was something I used to insist on to anyone that suggested that I was uh, let’s say…a little tense.

Fine” was waking up through the night with racing thoughts, walking around with my shoulders up to my ears and breaking out in so many pimples that it would’ve put my pubescent self to shame!

I thought I was “fine”, but my body was exhibiting some serious signs of stress.


The Benefits Of Understanding Your Anxiety

It’s interesting that new clients are often unaware of the link between stress and its negative impact on their health.

Educating clients on how to be self-aware is a responsibility I take pride in because with awareness comes the ability to identify WHAT the problem is, WHY it has occurred and HOW to avoid repeating / how to resolve it.


What Anxiety May Look And Feel Like

Physical: tension, shaking, fatigue, weakness, sleeping problems, racing heart, hot or cold flushes, chest tightness, rapid breathing, sweating, restlessness, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, difficulty losing or putting on weight.

Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, sense of impending doom, obsessive thinking, overthinking, indecisiveness over basic tasks, difficulty controlling worry, emotional sensitivity.

Behavioural: avoiding situations that may cause anxiety which can impact on social study or work life, being too controlling, withdrawing.


3 Surprising Causes Of Anxiety

Anxiety can be debilitating, and like receiving a reminder that you’re due for a pap-smear test, it’s something that can just sneak up on you…It’s also something that you can’t ignore and there is NOTHING. Comfortable. About. It.

It can be really disheartening for anxiety sufferers when all they’ve been offered is a prescription by their doctors without an explanation of their symptoms.

There’s a time and place for medicine for sure, but if you want complete healing, you have to find and treat the cause. Here are 3 common causes of anxiety I see in practice:


1. Blood-brain barrier damage

A healthy blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical for optimal brain and mental health. The blood-brain barrier is a shield between the brain’s blood vessels and the cells, which provides protection against harmful toxins or bacteria whilst allowing beneficial chemicals to cross over into the brain.

You can imagine how anxiety, amongst several other conditions, is linked to a compromised blood-brain barrier. The inflammation of this structure causes a “leaky brain”, where toxins begin to infiltrate the brain.

Damage to the BBB can also block the brain from receiving the appropriate chemicals known as neurotransmitters (including “happy” mood chemicals i.e. serotonin) from entering the brain. As a result, mental function becomes impaired causing further inflammation of the BBB if left untreated.


2. Leaky gut, leaky brain

There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain, which is why it is essential to address gut issues whenever anxiety is involved.

Similar to the BBB, once the gut lining is damaged, it becomes inflamed and “leaky”, which affects the absorption of vital nutrients and causes systemic inflammation.

A number of factors contribute to “leaky gut” including:

  • Consumption of sugar, gluten and dairy
  • Chronic stress
  • Antibiotics, medications
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gut flora imbalance


3. Adrenaline junkie

All living organisms have a survival mechanism called the ‘flight or fight’ response. Once the flight or fight response has been activated, the adrenal glands release stress hormones such as; adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol just to mention a few.

These hormones are designed to help you physically, mentally and emotionally adapt to anything that poses as a threat to your survival (i.e stress).

…They’re also designed to be a short-term response.

The problem is that people never seem to be able to switch off from their minds or technology these days and are, therefore, chronically stuck in survival mode.


It’s Not In Your Head

I’ve come a looong way since believing that I was “fine” whilst my body was sending loud SOS signals! My mind still definitely has the tendency to be hyperactive and sensitive, but I have since learned how to manage my stress so that I remain energetic, efficient, and just generally better at life.

It’s both my personal and professional experiences that have allowed me to help hundreds of people live happier lives, so there’s no need to fight anxiety alone just because you think it’s “silly”, or that it’s just something in your head.

I hope this information has been useful to you, but if you’re tired of struggling with anxiety, you can learn the 7 key principles online on how you can start being more at ease here.


7 Steps to Overcome Fear and Win At Life

A Transformative 7-Week Program for Young Women. Discover a set of essential skills to become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself with this fun and inspiring 7-week transformative online program which you can complete in your own time and in the comfort of your own space.

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