If one were to list the signs of anxiety alongside the signs of stress, they would be so similar that one of the lists could be eliminated.
If you then looked at the remaining list, you might have difficulty recognizing it in your day to day life. That is because anxiety and stress have become so much a part of our lives. We accept them as the new normal.
The problem is that one exacerbates the other.
Stress can arise from many origins; demands of work, family responsibilities and health concerns, just to name a few. It is here that anxiety creeps in, almost unnoticed; yet, there it is, but your body does take notice. Anxiety can also arise from similar origins; job insecurity, family trauma and physical and mental health concerns. It is here that stress creeps in surreptitiously; thus, one exacerbates the other.
Let’s look at Goewey’s list of 12 signs of stress (Think, anxiety, as well)
You have trouble making decisions.
You have a shorter fuse, feeling more impatient and on edge.
You criticize your partner and focus on the flaws in your relationship.
You eat more or have lost your appetite.
Your memory and concentration fizzle.
You’re fatigued most days.
.You either can’t get to sleep or don’t want to get out of bed.
You feel less confident about your ability to handle personal problems.
Simple things feel hard.
You enjoy your favorite activities less and less.
You’ve become less social.
You’ve started using alcohol, cigarettes, or other substances more.
(From The End of Stress by Don Joseph Goewey, 2014)
Both must be addressed.
Fellow mental health practitioners typically advise their clients to do 6 helpful things:
- Get enough sleep. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your mood, mental alertness, energy level, and physical health.
- Learn relaxation techniques. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and yoga are powerful stress-busters.
- Strengthen your social network. Connect with others by taking a class, joining an organization, or participating in a support group.
- Hone your time-management skills. The more efficiently you can juggle work and family demands, the lower your stress level.
- Try to resolve stressful situations if you can. Don’t let stressful situations fester. Hold family problem-solving sessions and use negotiation skills at home and at work.
- Nurture yourself. Treat yourself to a massage. Truly savor an experience: for example, eat slowly and really focus on the taste and sensations of each bite. Take a walk or a nap, or listen to your favorite music. (Harvard Medical School)
In any case, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your spouse, friends, and trusted colleagues. If stress and anxiety persist, ask your doctor whether anti-anxiety medications could be helpful.
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through this alone. With our support, you can get through your anxiety-stress cycle. We are well versed in the stress and anxiety management. We can work in tandem with your doctor as well. Talk therapy complements your well being.
We can help. And…you needn’t leave your favorite/private place to connect with us. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are always there for you. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
You may contact us now. Your first consultation is free.
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