Friday, September 15, 2023

Can You Be Stressed And Not Know It

Why Youre Always So Stressed And How To Destress

How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed | Daniel Levitin

So, now youve clearly been feeling stressed for no reason for too long. Thats no doubt why youve turned to the internet to see why, and what you can do about it.

I wouldnt be surprised if youve become somewhat fearful of that feeling thats likely to creep up on you out of the blue. You dont understand, and it may have already got in the way of you running your every-day-life.

Id like you to read this article in conjunction with my article on anxiety for no reason because both articles contain not-to-be-missed information if you want to beat stress.

In this article on always feeling stressed for no reason, youll discover:
  • 5 important questions to get a basic insight
  • 8 factors that can make you more, or less, likely to suffer from stress
  • 12 unusual reasons causing stress
  • 16 signs and symptoms of stress
  • A quick explanation of the effect of stress on your body/mind
  • 8 ways to de-stress
  • 3 effective steps for beating stress for no reason

So, lets start by ruling out the following

Signs And Symptoms Of Stress Overload

The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You dont notice how much its affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll. Thats why its important to be aware of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress overload.

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Other mental or emotional health problems

Physical symptoms:

  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits

When Should I Talk To A Doctor About Stress

You should seek medical attention if you feel overwhelmed, if you are using drugs or alcohol to cope, or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Your primary care provider can help by offering advice, prescribing medicine or referring you to a therapist.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Its natural and normal to be stressed sometimes. But long-term stress can cause physical symptoms, emotional symptoms and unhealthy behaviors. Try relieving and managing stress using a few simple strategies. But if you feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor.

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Improving Your Ability To Handle Stress

Get moving. Upping your activity level is one tactic you can employ right now to help relieve stress and start to feel better. Regular exercise can lift your mood and serve as a distraction from worries, allowing you to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed stress. Rhythmic exercises such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing are particularly effective, especially if you exercise mindfully .

Connect to others. The simple act of talking face-to-face with another human can trigger hormones that relieve stress when youre feeling agitated or insecure. Even just a brief exchange of kind words or a friendly look from another human being can help calm and soothe your nervous system. So, spend time with people who improve your mood and dont let your responsibilities keep you from having a social life. If you dont have any close relationships, or your relationships are the source of your stress, make it a priority to build stronger and more satisfying connections.

Engage your senses. Another fast way to relieve stress is by engaging one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement. The key is to find the sensory input that works for you. Does listening to an uplifting song make you feel calm? Or smelling ground coffee? Or maybe petting an animal works quickly to make you feel centered? Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so experiment to find what works best for you.

How Professional Treatment Helps Most People With Anxiety Disorders

Can You Be Stressed and Not Know It?

In general, stress is a response to a difficult or alarming situation, whereas anxiety tends to be excessive and may be triggered by events that havent happened. Often, people with anxiety disorders begin to avoid situations that make them fearful, or they may develop panic attacks.

People who struggle with anxiety have a tendency to ruminate or worry excessively about things, accompanied by physical sensations like butterflies in the stomach or heart palpitations, says Dr. Dossett. Of course, these things can happen with stress, too, which is why its important to see a doctor if symptoms persist.

Recommended Reading: How Can I Reduce Stress Quickly

You Try To Manage Your Stress Instead Of Your Stressors

The biggest myth we all believe about chronic stress is that you need to get better at stress management.

But stress management is actually a terrible solution to the problem of chronics stress because youre already stressed! Its like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.

Of course, some form of Band-Aid to stop the bleeding is important if you happen to get shot. But Band-Aids should not be the primary strategy we talk about for dealing with gunshot woundswe should work like hell to avoid getting shot in the first place!

See, when we make stress management our first-line strategy, we distract ourselves from really looking at the true cause of our stress, the stressor itself.

A stressor is the thing that causes a stress response.

If youre always stressed, the real solution is to fix the original cause of the stress not the feeling of stress itself.

For example, if youre constantly stressed at work, you could try and work on doing more deep breathing exercises throughout your day. And maybe your stress level will decrease a little. But no amount of deep breathing exercises will change the fact that youre still terrible at saying no to taking on too much work.

Feeling stressed at work is the messenger trying to tell you that something about how you work is deeply wrong. Over-reliance on stress management techniques is effectively shooting the messenger.

The far more important part of the equation is the stressors that are causing the stress in the first place.

Importance Of Recognizing Stress Symptoms

Its important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are actually getting out of control. Stress is deceptive. It has its way of creeping up on you so you get used to it and you start to feel a certain sense of familiarity with it. If you are not mindful of your body, you may just be surprised to see that it has already taken its toll on you and has already caused a great deal of harm.

For instance, people who are constantly exposed to high levels of stress may think that they have grown accustomed to the pressure and high surge of adrenaline, but the truth is, there is no such thing as getting used to stress. When you thrive on stress, its just difficult for you to discern the symptoms of stress but this does not mean that your body is not responding to stress. Eventually, something within you will malfunction.

It is important to recognize stress before it actually develops into a serious health problem. And while stress affects different people in many different ways, there are certain factors and symptoms that are common among the general population.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Stress Free

Anxiety I Thought I Was Just Stressed

Stress and anxiety are related, but not synonymous states. Both are normal, adaptive responses to lifes challenges work, relationships, mortality, to name just a few and share many symptoms, including worry, stomach aches, restlessness, muscle tension, racing thoughts, headaches, sleepless nights, or all of the above.

For these reasons and more, we often use the words anxiety and stress interchangeably. Yet despite their similarities, there are important differences between the two. Determining whats going on for you is the first step towards finding relief.

What Is The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety

How stress is killing us (and how you can stop it). | Thijs Launspach | TEDxUniversiteitVanAmsterdam

The words “stress” and “anxiety” are often used interchangeably. Though the symptoms can feel similar, medically they are different. Sometimes anxiety is triggered by a stressful situation the two often go hand in hand, says Dr. Dossett. But its also possible to feel stressed without feeling anxious.

So whats the distinction? Anxiety is more closely associated with consistently worrying or ruminating about things, even when nothing much is going on, she explains. Sometimes, anxiety can be part of a syndrome known as generalized anxiety disorder , a constellation of symptoms that jangle your nervous system and a condition you may experience even when the outside world is at its calmest. Stress, on the other hand, tends to be a persons response to a situation or event, like giving a presentation in front of a crowd, says Gupta.

Special Report

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How To Manage Stress And Soothe Your Nervous System

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent stress from pushing you over that proverbial edge and jangling your nervous system. While its important to focus on the basics of good health getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night, sticking to a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet , and getting about 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every week, Gupta recommends using any technique that feels natural and enjoyable, and makes sense in your life.

You Enjoy Your Favorite Activities Less And Less

Why: During high-stress situations, interactions between a stress hormone called adrenal glucocorticoid and serotonin receptors in the brain interfere with our ability to experience pleasure and remain motivated. Serotonin levels that are consistently off-balance produce the brain chemistry that leads to depressionmake sure to know the warning signs.

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Your Digestive System Feels Off

A persons belly may be one of the first places to experience the symptoms of stress or anxiety.

The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines,Harvard Health explained. It noted that even when a person merely thinks about food, his or her stomach will release acids in preparation of a meal.

This brain-to-stomach connection is a two-way street that can cause a vicious cycle of stress-related effects. According to Harvard Health, A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. And, in return, stress can cause an increase in stomach acids, thus causing digestive issues like an ulcer. Symptoms of a stressor pepticulcer include burning pain in the stomach, nausea, and bloating.

Factors That Can Make You More

Want to know why stress is a choice and how you can decide ...
  • Your perception of the stressors , rather than their precise nature
  • The length of time youre exposed to a stressful situation
  • Your personality
  • Your developmental history mental, physical, social and spiritual . See this study .
  • Your family history
  • Your genes What is known as gene regulation allows your cells to react quickly to changes in the environment.
  • Your diet
  • Your immediate environment.
  • So, how serious is your situation? What might be contributing to your feeling stressed all the time?

    Read on

    The following ten points youre unlikely to ever have considered as stressful to your body/mind

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    You Keep Catching Colds

    Stress has a way of wearing you down until all your body’s defenses are compromised. This leaves the proverbial door wide open for germs to stroll on in, which is why stressed out folks tend to catch colds more easily. As Dr. Carolyn Dean says in an email to Bustle, “Your resiliency, energy, endurance and your quality of life all depend on your adrenals to properly function.” Reduce your stress, and you should be better able to survive cold season.

    Signs You May Be Suffering From Stress But Dont Realize It

    StepanPopov / Shutterstock

    Do you remember the last time you were stressed? Chances are it was a lot more recently than you think. The feeling of anxiety and tension is so common many people think they are OK unless they are having a heart attack. But the truth is that stress has a sneaky way of building up in you until it becomes a serious problem.

    Stress is considered an emotional issue because its the way the body responds to what it perceives as an acute threat. The nervous system releases adrenaline and cortisol, which are stress hormones. But thats not all.

    Often people dont associate physical manifestations with stress, says Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., president & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. A recent study shows that negative emotions, such as stress, are linked to poor physical health in more than 150,000 people in 142 countries. If the body produces these hormones on regular basis, they hurt the immune, digestive, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems.

    Its common for people to not realize they are stressed out, Borenstein says. Often people minimize the stress they are under, the affect it has, and dont take action.

    Weight gain around the waistline

    Severe cramps, missed periods

    Sore jaw

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    Anchor Yourself In The Here And Now


    Many methods for anchoring yourself in the here and now focus on breath. But there is also the option of seeing those thoughts themselves as fixed in the present. Make yourself comfortable and follow these steps:

    1. Notice that you are having thoughts

    If these thoughts are very troubling, this can be difficult, because you automatically perceive them to be true and necessary. But always remember: you have thoughts, but you are not your thoughts.

    2. Observe your thoughts

    Just as you can watch a train go past, you can observe a thought. By doing this, you undo the connection to that thought which would normally trigger stress. If you are able to observe something, you are detached from it.

    3. Let your thoughts come and go

    Thoughts have an enormous power of attraction. But be aware that you are in no way obliged to follow them, develop them or even to act in accordance with them. Thoughts are just thoughts. You cant magic them away, but you can simply let them be there without letting them influence you.

    4. What is behind my thoughts?

    If you no longer identify with your thoughts, you will notice that you have a consciousness behind them that is always free of stress. Practice the steps above regularly to access this inner calm more easily. Its available to you at any time.

    Getting Help For Depression

    6 Signs You May Have Anxiety and Not Even Know It

    If you think you might be depressed, take a depression screening. Print out the results or e-mail them to yourself and then show them to a counselor or doctor.

    To get help, start with your student health center or counseling service on campus. Most community colleges provide limited free mental health services and can refer you to local providers for longer-term treatment. You can also talk to your family doctor. Your local Mental Health America affiliate can refer or in some cases provide services as well. To find the nearest MHA affiliate, call 800-969-6642 or go to Find An Affiliate.

    Remember, depression and other mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Telling someone you are struggling is the first step toward feeling better. You will need the help of a mental health professional to beat depression. Talk therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination can be very effective.

    In crisis? If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.

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    Stressed Or Depressed Know The Difference

    If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone it’s practically a fact of life on college campuses. A poll conducted by mtvU and the Associated Press in the spring of 2009 reported that 85% of students say they experience stress on a daily basis.

    Stress is good if it motivates you but it’s bad if it wears you down. Many factors can contribute to the stress you experience, and this stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.

    Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress, and requires a different kind of help. In a 2010 survey by the American College Health Association, 28% of college students reported feeling so depressed at some point they had trouble functioning, and 8% sought treatment for depression.

    The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. However, it’s not something you can snap out of by yourself, so it’s important to get help. How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.

    Here are common signs of stress and depression. Which fits you best?

    Stress Symptom: Odd Dreams

    Dreams usually get progressively more positive as you sleep, so you wake up in a better mood than you were in when you went to bed, says Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, an emeritus professor of psychology at Rush University Medical Center. But when you’re stressed, you wake up more often, disrupting this process and allowing unpleasant imagery to recur all night. Good sleep habits can help prevent this aim for 7 to 8 hours a night, and avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

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