by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
Anxiety is complex...
Many believe it is a result of a psychological trigger, while others think it is more physiological. Regardless of the cause, anxiety has many debilitating effects.
While either can be the initial cause, both usually contribute to ongoing anxiety symptoms and complaints.
Causes of Anxiety
From a psychological aspect, our feelings and thoughts will stimulate physiological activity. In her book, Why You Feel the Way You Feel - Molecules of Emotion, Dr. Candace Pert explains the biochemical flush of neurotransmitter and hormone production based on our feelings and thoughts.
Also, physical triggers - disease, injury or toxin - can impact our mood, thoughts, feelings, and ability to cope. All can cause anxiety to manifest.
If either or both physical/non-physical stimuli can be the cause of anxiety, investigation of both is the best defense against anxiety. This approach helps us reach the highest level of well-being.
Our physical bodies have feedback loops for function, and so are there feedback loops between our psyche and body. I do not believe that anxiety is a one sided or unilateral issue of only mind or body or spirit for everyone. One person’s initial cause of anxiety may be physical, another person may have had a psychological cause, and yet another person may have had a combination.
Even Positive Events Can Be a Cause
Anxiety by definition is a feeling of worry, uneasiness, or fear about a circumstance or event and dreading a potential outcome or experience. Yet one can feel the symptoms of anxiety about a positive circumstance or event such as the anticipation of one’s upcoming wedding or giving a professional presentation that might be the highlight of one’s career.
While anxiety can stem from a positive or negative excitatory cause, based on one’s perception and feelings about the impending circumstance or event and its outcome, the physiological sensations and manifestations may be the same.
Very few people seem to complain about episodes of anxiety related to a positive circumstance. But those that have ongoing anxiety due to negative causes are growing in numbers daily.