Stress and anxiety are increasingly becoming common in the modern world. Many find themselves struggling daily with the symptoms associated with these conditions. It’s important to understand the causes, recognize the symptoms and know how to manage and cope with stress and anxiety to ensure healthy wellbeing. In this article we will look into the causes, symptoms, and tips for managing and coping with stress and anxiety.
What Is Stress and Anxiety?
Stress and anxiety are related but vary in certain aspects. Stress can be seen as the body’s reaction to demands placed on it, and when it isn’t managed correctly can result in physical, mental and emotional distress. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an emotion which can be characterised as feelings of fear, dread, or apprehension that arises from an imagined or real danger.
Identifying Stressful Situations
Some situations are naturally more stressful than others. Some of these may include having heavy workloads or tight deadlines, taking on too many responsibilities, destruction of routine, such as travel, relationships and financial issues, health concerns, big life changes and many more. It’s important to take time to identify situations that are causing life stress so that they can be managed.
Identifying the Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
Every individual has different triggers to stressful situations and manifests it in different ways. Common symptoms associated with stress and anxiety include:
- Physical pain like headaches, chest tightness, and fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of concentration and focus, and foggy thinking
- Changes in appetite
- Frequent feelings of hopelessness and irritability
- Difficulty communicating and an avoidance of social situations
Overcoming Stress and Anxiety
The first step to overcoming stress and anxiety is to acknowledge that the feeling exists, and acknowledging the events which trigger it. Some people may find it helpful to write down the situations which trigger their stress and anxiety. It may also helpful to figure out what can be done to reduce the risk of repeated episodes of high stress and anxiety.
Practical Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety
Once you’ve identified the stressors in your life, it’s time to take action. Here are some practical tips for managing your stress and anxiety:
- Exercise: Regular physical exercise has been proven to be one of the best activities for reducing stress. Exercise releases endorphins which are hormones that make you feel happier and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Yoga: Yoga makes use of both physical and cognitive techniques, allowing the brain to switch off and relax.
- Adequate sleep: Many people are not getting sufficient sleep and this can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety. Enough sleep gives the body and mind more energy, and allows one to cope better with any stressful events.
- Mindful breathing: Take slow and deep breaths to slow the heart rate, relax the muscle and reduce other physical symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- Eat healthy food: Eating nutrient-rich food will increase energy levels, help to lift mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Create a relaxation corner: Design a relaxing and comfortable corner of your home for calm and relaxation. Fill it with items that make you feel relaxed and happy so that you can spend some time calming down in this space.
Seeking Professional Help for Severe Stress and Anxiety
In some cases, the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety can become severe. If the symptoms are affecting daily life, then professional help should be sought. A therapist or psychologist can help by both providing advice or simply being someone to talk to and confide in. In some cases, prescribed medication may be necessary.
Learning to Live with Low Levels of Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are part of living in the modern world and in some cases, cannot be avoided. However, it is possible to learn how to manage and cope with the effects in a healthy and productive way. Learning to accept those low levels of anxiety and not letting them overwhelm you is the key to truly being a healthier and happier person.
It is important to take the time to understand and recognize stress and anxiety, and make informed decisions on how to cope with it. Disruptive episodes of stress and anxiety should not be ignored and help should be sought if necessary. With the right tools and strategies, it is possible to understand and manage stress and anxiety in a healthy way.