Tag Archives: stress

There’s always been a stigma surrounding mental health. In the past, if anyone admitted to their inner demons and said that they struggled with anything concerning their mental health, they were looked down upon. Thankfully, talking about mental disorders is less taboo now, and when someone admits that they struggle, they are often welcomed with open arms, because more and more people are admitting to their own struggles. This is just showing that more people struggle with things like depression and anxiety than we had previously realized. While the normalization of mental disorders is a good thing, it’s also unintentionally affected the meaning of the words anxiety and depression. These two disorders have become romanticized; some individuals think it’s noble to suffer from these disorders, and will claim to have them for the attention. Others are using these words interchangeably with other words when really what they mean is that they’re nervous, sad, upset, or stressed.stress


External stresses


There’s quite a big difference between having anxiety and being stressed. Anyone can feel anxious for a moment, or even for a while about a certain thing or event, but it doesn’t mean that they you have anxiety. Feeling upset or stressed about something for a while doesn’t mean you’re having a panic attack.


Stress comes from external forces. You’re stressed about your job, money, family situations, friendships, romantic relationships, and so forth. When things becoming strained or difficult in your life, you can easily become stressed.


However, stress goes away. Your issues will always get resolved one way or another. When the things that you’re stressed about go away, so do your feelings of being stressed.


If you’re still feeling stress once the subject of your stress has truly been resolved, what you’re feeling may be anxiety. For example, you’re upset about something in the relationship you have with your spouse. You’re nervous to talk to them about the thing that’s upsetting them, so you spend all day fretting about what you’ll say and the correct way to tell them how you’re feeling. At the end of the day, you sit down with them and share your concerns, and the issue becomes resolved. The stress of the situation is now gone, and therefore, you’ll no longer be feeling stressed.


Anxiety is when, after having this conversation with your spouse, you continue to worry about it, chronically, for days. In your spare moments you’ll be wondering if you should’ve said something different, you’ll worry that they’re mad at you despite them being understanding and kind about the situation, and you’ll begin to tell yourself that you shouldn’t have been upset in the first place. Anxiety may cause you to obsess over simple things that aren’t, or shouldn’t be, a big deal.


Often, stress is mislabeled as anxiety. A lot of people don’t like going to the dentist. Leading up to a dentist visit, many people will feel anxious and nervous. Unless the anxious feelings of going to the dentist linger much longer after your visit, this is simply stress, rather than anxiety.


A lot of people mistake these issues as just stress, or just anxiety. Knowing what the cause of your feelings is can help you know how to handle them. For example, some people use alcohol or other substances to help them “de-stress” when they’re feeling overwhelmed. However, alcohol can be easily abused, and in situations where an alcohol dependency or addiction develops, it’s often caused by anxiety, rather than stress.stress


Internal Forces


Anxiety is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, often meaning that the neurotransmitters in the brain aren’t functioning the way they’re supposed to. The neurotransmitters that are targeted in an anxiety disorder are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine.


GABA inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, which calms nervous activity. Serotonin affects your mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, and sexual desire. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that sends signals to your muscles to tell them to move. It’s also often considered the “feel good” chemical. Epinephrine helps regulate your breathing, stimulate your heart, and raise your blood pressure if it’s dropped.


An imbalance of any of these neurotransmitters can mean trouble. If there is a chemical imbalance, your body won’t be functioning properly, and therefore won’t react the way it’s supposed to. These imbalances can cause you to obsess over things you normally wouldn’t, make you feel useless and upset, lazy and lethargic, and even cause your heart rate to spike for no apparent reason.


What’s important to remember about anxiety is that, although it can be affected by or triggered by outside forces, what causes it is a chemical imbalance. If you have anxiety that’s affecting your daily life, seek out professional help to get a handle on it.stress

Stress is any circumstance that imposes special physical or psychological demands on us or throws us off our equilibrium. Positive stress is often reflected in a confident attitude and superior performance. When we’re under pressure, we experience heightened energy and motivation levels that enable us to function at our best. A certain amount of stress also makes life interesting. With too little stimulation, we become bored and frustrated.

On the other hand, too much stress pushes us into overdrive or distress. It’s not unlike the strings on a guitar: when they’re too loose, the sound they make is poor; too tight, and the strings can break. “Stress can be the spice of life,” says Dr. Mark Ketterer, a clinical psychologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, “or the kiss of death.” It’s the latter possibility that should worry us.

Unfortunately, modern society tends to produce constant distress. How we respond is up to us. Anything you can do to relax your mind and body on a regular basis will enhance your ability to manage stress. Set aside time for yourself in the midst of your busy schedule. Then look for an activity that will help you switch of and relax. Go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, soak in a warm bath, practice yoga. Never use lack to time as an excuse to keep you from practicing relaxation techniques. Here are a few of my favorite ways to relax.beach

Exercise. People who exercise frequently experience more positive moods and less anxiety that people who exercise little r not at all. One reason may be that the physical act of exercising allots the body to “throw of” tension. Anyone who runs, walks or swims regularly know that post-exercise feeling; the body feels tired, even drained, but good and less stressed out.exercise

Get enough sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to psychological distress, including depression and anxiety. Make sure your are getting a good nights sleep!

Listen to your spiritual side. Good family relationships, getting together with friends are all associated with less stress. Studies have found that having a religious faith and a sense of spirituality can also reduce stress. Having close friends that can pray with you and for you and knowing that the Lord is there for you are great stress relievers.church

Turn off the television. Many people have the TV on all the time and you can actually get saturated with all the information. Watching the news and how TV news is presented and sensationalized can increase anxiety. Every day we are subjected to unforgettable image of violence and destruction. Turn off the TV and opt to get more of your news from written reporting which tends to provide a calmer account of events. Concentrate on your immediate surroundings; family, work, friends and community. Be more involved in real life events and you will feel less anxious and more in control.

How do you handle the stress in your life? For me it’s regular exercise, taking long walks with friends and working in the garden. I know the world is crazy around me but I can take pleasure in these simple acts and stop stressing!garden flower

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