Everything Makes You Emotional
Everyone has days where a random sloth video on YouTube makes you cry. But if you’re walking this Earth like a timebomb of intense feels, snapping when your bae makes a dumb joke or getting extra annoyed at a teammate, something might be out. Like those times when you chill out afterward and think, Yikes. Who WAS that person? “When you’re super-stressed, the brain stem the primitive part of your brain takes over, and the part that anticipates outcomes goes dark,” says Hemmen. So what does that mean?! Think of it this way: Stress shuts down your filter AND turns up your tendency to act on instinct making your inner rage-beast bubble up in interactions where you’d normally feel fine.
How Professional Treatment Helps Most People With Anxiety Disorders
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.
If Left Unmanaged Stress Can Lead To Depression
Posted January 8, 2016
Feeling stressed out? Youre not alone. Seventy-two percent of adults surveyed by the American Psychological Association reported feeling stressed out at least some of the time during the past month.
Regardless of what youre stressing about, stress can quickly turn into a problem when it builds and starts to cause wear and tear on your bodyand your overall mental state. In fact, if left unmanaged stress can actually lead to depression.
Chronic stress leads to physical changes in your brain and body, changes in the way youre thinking, and ultimately to changes in the way youre behaving.
Stressed out people are more likely to engage in unhelpful and unhealthy behaviors like overeating, smoking, drinking, and dropping out of important activities like exercising and socializing. And all of this can increase the likelihood that your stress turns into depression.
So how can you tell if youre just stressed out or are suffering from depression? Essentially the answer lies in the severity and the duration of your symptoms.
Feeling stressed out is usually associated with feeling overwhelmed or under pressure. As you know, I believe the term stressed out is a generalization we use to really just say that were having a hard time coping with distressing emotions such as fear or sadness.
Feeling sad and hopeless
Lack of energy, enthusiasm and motivation
Withdrawing from other people
Eating more or less than usual
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Or The Conversation Stops Entirely When You Arrive
It may not be just an energy change that makes it clear that you stress people out. If you walk into the room and the conversation stops, chances are that everyone was discussing you or, at least, saying something that they didn’t want you to know about. Instead of taking this personally, use it as a chance to grow and become a more productiveâand less stress-inducingâpart of the group.
The Most Common Emotional And Cognitive Symptoms Of Short
When youre under a lot of stress, you may find that youre more emotional than usual or crankier. Here are some signs to look for:
- Anxiety or nervousness in the American Psychological Associations 2017 Stress in America survey, 36 percent of people report that stress makes them feel more nervous or anxious.
- Anger or irritability in the APA survey, 35 percent of people report this.
- Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
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A Normally Outgoing Person Becomes Reserved When You’re Close By
If someone who is typically outgoing always seems to get more quiet and closed-off when you’re around, it may be a sign that your presence makes them uneasy. In fact, California-based career coach Elizabeth Pearson says this type of recoiling or distancing can indicate specific stressors like fear and intimidation.
” reaction could be communicating that the person feels threatened by you,” Pearson says. “Without saying anything, the person is showing you that they feel uncomfortable, anxious, uneasy, or that they want to get out of the conversation or your presence.”
Ok So How Can I Tell If I Am Stressed
If you suspect you might be stressed or if you have been told by others that you are stressed, dont ignore it. Take our simple test below to ascertain whether you are stressed or not.
Simply go through the list below and tick, honestly, each bullet point that applies to you.
- You feel less eager to go to work after the weekend
- You are less patient with others
- You often are moody
- You have stomach problems
- Your blood pressure is higher
- You have lost a lot of weight
- You have gained a lot of weight
If you have ticked less than 4, you might just be exhausted rather than stressed.
If you have ticked more than 4, theres a high chance you are stressed.
Now that you know if you are likely to be stressed or not, lets try and find out how much stress youre under.
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Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
Your Tummy Does Weird Things On The Regs #awkward
Maybe it’s gas or stomach aches or too much/not enough bathroom time that’s got you down it doesn’t matter, because it’s THE. WORST. And it’s all stuff that could be caused by sneaky feelings of pressure or worry or dread, says le research. “We have brain cells scattered in every organ system,” explains Ehrman. “And for some people, their nervous energy goes straight to their gut.” In fact, some experts even call your gut a “mini-brain” because it holds so many neurotransmitters. They’re still figuring out exactly how stress hormones wreak their havoc, but they DO know that there’s a definite link.
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Your Hair Is Starting To Fall Out
If youre waking up with more than a few strands on your pillow, you may be suffering from alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune skin disease brought on when the bodys immune system attacks the hair follicles. It causes small round patches of hair loss on the scalp. Its not dangerous, but its likely to be associated with a severe stressor, like an assault or significant traumatic event in ones life, says Dr. Colgan. This disease is more likely to occur in young women or adolescent girls.
What to do: In most cases, this is typically a temporary condition and your hair will grow back once stress is minimized. But dont be afraid to talk to your doctor about whats going on, says Dr. Colgan. While your MD might recommend injectable scalp steroids to help with hair growth, its best to have an examination. The hair loss could possibly be a sign of a scalp fungal infection, a bacterial function or even a thyroid disorder.
How To Cope With Stress Podcast With Dr Rangan Chatterjee
Struggling with stress? We caught up with Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the In The Moment Magazine podcast to find out how to cope with stress and live calmer lives.
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The Effects Of Chronic Stress
Your nervous system isnt very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. If youre super stressed over an argument with a friend, a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly as if youre facing a true life-or-death situation. And the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.
If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in todays demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:
How Can Your Doctor Test Your Stress Level
There is no standardized test to formally diagnose stress because stress is subjectivewhat feels very stressful for one person may not cause high levels of stress for another. Only the person experiencing stress can determine how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
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What Are Some Ways To Prevent Stress
Many daily strategies can help you keep stress at bay:
- Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
- Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
- Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
- Accept that you cant control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
- Learn to say no to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesnt become overwhelming.
When Should I Talk To A Doctor About Stress
Talk to your doctor about stress if you are feeling overwhelmed, are reliant on drugs or alcohol to cope with the feelings of stress, have thoughts of hurting yourself, or are experiencing other related conditions, like anxiety or depression. Your doctor can provide advice for better managing your stress, prescribe medication, or refer you to a mental health professional for further diagnosis and treatment.
The National Institute of Mental Health . 5 Things You Should Know About Stress. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/. Accessed July 15, 2021.
Child Mind Disorder. Acute Stress Disorder Basics. Accessed 4/11/2021.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, National Center for PTSD. Acute Stress Disorder. Accessed 4/11/2021.
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Spotting The Signs Of Stress
Stress is something we hear about a lot and it is generally accepted as a normal part of busy lives. Many of us feel like we have a good handle on knowing when we are stressed. You might find yourself saying Im stressed or thinking this is stressful when you are finding something difficult. But how can we tell if what we are feeling is normal everyday stress, or a potential sign of something that needs addressing?
What is stress?
Stress isnt necessarily a bad thing and is actually your bodys way of protecting you from a perceived threat. If your brain senses you could be in danger, it will release a flood of stress hormones putting you in what is called fight or flight mode. In this emergency mode your heart beats faster, your muscles tighten and your blood pressure rises. Your senses become sharper and your strength and stamina increase, meaning your body is better prepared to fight off danger.
Stress can help increase your focus, energy and alertness. This is helpful in a life-threatening situation or when you need to complete something under pressure, but less helpful when it starts being triggered too frequently and begins negatively impacting your life.
When does stress become a problem?
When you feel under pressure, worried or like things are out of your control, your body can react as if you were facing a life-or-death situation. If you are faced with multiple causes of stress this can become incredibly draining and overwhelming.
How can you spot stress?
Theres So Much To Do But You Have A Difficult Time Deciding How To Start
It can be hard to know where to start when youre to-do list seems like its a mile long. In fact, it can be so overwhelming that you end up doing nothing- because making a decision on what to do first is too overwhelming. This is called analysis paralysis.
What to do about it: One thing thats really helped me is overcoming the need to be perfect. If youre a perfectionist, it can be really hard to make decisions and take action because youre so afraid of getting it wrong or making mistakes. Here are 5 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism and Embrace your Imperfect Life.
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What Are Stressors
A stressor is a situation that causes a physical and/or mental change, according to New Albany, Indiana-based psychotherapist Brittany Johnson, a licensed mental health counselor.
Mentally, a person would respond to a stressor by obsessing about the situation, she says. A person might even talk about the situation with others. Its not uncommon for a person experiencing a stressor to have physical anxiety symptoms. The physical impact of increased anxiety could be a stomachache, heartburn, chest pain and/or a backache.
Stressors can be internal or external. Fear or beliefs are examples of internal stressors, while an external stressor can have environmental factors or involve other people.
What Do I Do Now
Take a step back and analyze honestly the situation.
Untreated stress has many consequences: it is unhealthy for you it is unhealthy for people around you
You do not need to admit to being stressed to your boss or colleagues but you canadmit it: to your partner to your friends
If you have a strong support system in place, you are more likely to overcome it and find solutions.
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Questions To Ask Yourself
Whos in my support network? Everyone should have people in their life who are positive influences, support providers, and role models for healthy living. They can be friends, family members, mentors, spiritual leaders, colleagues, and mental health professionals.
What activities do I enjoy? Your work might be enjoyable, but everyone needs hobbies that arent about competition or personal accomplishment. What helps ease your worries and makes you more mindful about your body? These activities might include reading, dancing, gardening, board games, crafts, etc.
What are my sleep habits? If youre getting roughly 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, youll be able to think more clearly, boost your immune system, and concentrate better on work and relationships. A simple step such as turning off screens an hour before bed can make a huge difference in your sleep quality.
Am I saying no to unnecessary tasks? Ideally you should be able to pass on tasks that demand too much of you, arent your responsibility, or dont fall in line with your personal values and objectives. If youre not sure where to start, take a look at your schedule and to-do list, and see what can be delegated or removed completely.
Am I organized? Start to declutter your life. When you can manage tasks with an accurate schedule and prioritized to-do list, you reduce the unnecessary anxiety that can accompany a cluttered and confusing agenda.
Simple Things Feel Hard
Why: Stress hormones spike the brain chemical dopamine, which can create a decline in cognitive performance. One of the signs youre stressed is that even easy tasks feel difficult to manage. Also, stress can cause us to stop looking for new ways to approach old tasks because behavior tends to habituate when the brain is under stress. We get locked into doing the same unproductive thing over and over. Try one of these stress-relieving tips if you find yourself in the same stressful routine.
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You Feel Exhausted All The Time
Feeling stressed really takes a toll on your mind and body. If your body perceives that its in danger, its going to have to work twice as hard to stay alert and keep you safe. It can also be really hard to get quality sleep when youve got so much on your mind!
What to do about it: Mindfulness and meditation can help you get into that deeper relaxed state. Try listening to a guided meditation before you fall asleep.