Wait Where Did You Put Your Phone/keys/brain
Here’s the funny thing: A tiny jolt of stress in some situations can make your mind do totally amazing, somewhat super-human things . But when every project, paper, practice, etc., etc., etc. is weighing on you to the point where you just feel stuck? Your memory goes fuzzy, your focus becomes non-existent, and your ability to actually listen gets squashed. It’s like stress hijacks your brain.
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Cholesterol
Whether or not youre stressed, its smart to see your primary care physician once a year for a complete exam, including a check of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, cholesterol, and thyroid hormones. And dont let a doctor brush off your stress.
When women have heart palpitations, doctors are more likely to think that theyre either experiencing stress or anxiety, or that theyre hysterical in some way. As a result, women tend to be underdiagnosed with heart disease, says Dr. Haythe. And this happens despite the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. A good rule of thumb: If unusual symptoms persist for more than a week or two, see your physician.
When To Seek Professional Help
Many teens arent able to say, Im stressed and this is the reason why. Therefore, their behaviors often signal how theyre feeling.
If you suspect your teen is struggling with stress, start a conversation about it. You may also want to teach your teen some simple stress management techniques.
If your teens stress seems to be interfering with school, family, household responsibilities, or friends, it may be time to seek professional help. Symptoms lasting more than two weeks could be a sign that your teen may have an underlying mental health problem, like depression or anxiety.
Talk to your teens pediatrician if you have concerns about stress. Its important to rule out any physical health issues and to discuss treatment options. A physician may refer your child to counseling.
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Whats The Difference Between Stress Anxiety And An Anxiety Disorder
When left unchecked, both stress and anxiety can escalate into more severe mental health conditions. Anxiety disorder, which includes generalized anxiety disorder , panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder , and obsessive compulsive disorder is the most common mental health condition in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million Americans. Globally, anxiety disorders are also the most common mental health condition, affecting up to one in 13 people.
The basic criteria for determining whether stress or anxiety have become problematic is whether they have begun adversely affecting key domains of your life such as work or social situations. Maybe youre having trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, or have increased symptoms like irritability or sadness, said Dr. Marques. As a rule of thumb, those things have to happen for enough time consistently to qualify as an anxiety disorder.
Whether or not your stress or anxiety feel manageable at a given moment is a highly personal question especially since some degree of both is actually necessary for us to feel motivated. Most people can actually pulse check when stress or anxiety become too much, Dr. Marques said. When you start to see that regular interference , thats usually when its time to seek some help.
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.
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Job Loss And Unemployment Stress
Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.
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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Feeling Depressed Or Suffering From Depression
We often get mixed up between low mood and unhappiness and depression. The two things are very different. Depression isnt about feeling unhappy, its feeling youll never be happy again, explains Colin Grange, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Lifeworks.
If youre feeling low, is it starting to interfere with your day to day life? Are you not doing things that you used to do? Are you losing motivation in and enjoyment of life? Are you starting to not enjoy your hobbies? Is everything becoming an effort?
People suffering from clinical depression often experience a range of symptoms both physical and emotional which can interfere with day to day life. Discovering whether you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms could be an important step towards getting the help you need.
Quiz: Am I depressed?
They Never Respond To Your Texts
Today, people often use texting to communicate their issues rather than doing it face-to-face. But if you’re unloading on someone via this method and getting nothing in return, chances are you’re causing them stress, too.
“You may be stressing others out with texts full of emotional stuff like what you are upset about or how you feel about something,” says Sherianna Boyle, a psychology professor in Massachusetts and author of Emotional Detox. “This stresses people out because they can’t hear the tone and they don’t actually get to respond to what you are saying.”
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Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:
- Keep a journal.
- Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
- Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.
Read more about stress.
What Are The Signs Of Stress
How you might feel
You may behave differently if youre stressed. You may:
- withdraw from other people or snap at them
- be indecisive or inflexible
- have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep
- experience sexual problems
- smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs more than usual.
If the stress is long-lasting, you may notice your sleep and memory are affected, your eating habits change, or you feel less inclined to exercise.
Some research has also linked long-term stress to gastrointestinal conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or stomach ulcers, as well as conditions like cardiovascular disease.
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Your Back Or Neck Is Always Aching
If youve got knots in your shoulders, a stiff neck or your lower back cramped up after a long day, it could be the constant of a job or personal situation, not just the position you sit in during the day. High levels of stress and tension create discomfort and muscle pain by tightening muscles and causing muscle spasms, says Dr. Colgan. And stiff muscles in your neck can also lead to headaches, he says.
If your back pain developed after an accident or emotional trauma, it could also be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder . The National Institute of Health recommends talking to your primary doctor, as many people arent able to heal their back pain until they deal with the emotional stress thats causing it.
What to do: Many relaxation techniques can help with stress reduction, including guided imagery, taking deep breaths from the diaphragm, meditation, massages and yoga, says Tuit. Try devoting time for stretching breaks throughout the day to help prevent muscles from tightening up. Make time for some of these yoga poses to unwind at the end of the day.
You Feel Tired All The Time
Feeling exhausted after a busy day is one thing. But feeling tired all the damn time, and for no reason at all? Well, that’s something else entirely. This form of unexplained sleepiness may be a sign of adrenal fatigue, which occurs when your adrenal glands become overtaxed with cortisol, Dr. Stephen Wander tells me. The constant stress can cause you to feel worn out, even when you really shouldn’t be that tired.
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They Look At Their Phone While You’re Talking
Have you ever noticed someone looking at their phone while you try to talk to them? Sure, this might be rude, but it says just as much about you as it does about them. Usually this indicates that someone is uncomfortable with or stressed out by the conversation at hand. Instead of taking this behavior as a slight towards you, use it as an opportunity to evaluate whether or not you are making the people around you uncomfortable.
Don’t Suffer In Silence
Get support, whether from family, friends, your academic advisor, campus counseling center, or a trusted online community. A heart-to-heart talk with someone you trust can help you get rid of toxic feelings and may even give you a fresh perspective.
If these steps don’t bring relief, or if you are still unable to cope and feel as if the stress is affecting how you function every day, it could be something more acute and chronic–like depression. Don’t let it go unchecked!
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How Can I Identify Stress Triggers
For some people, it may help to try to identify what causes you to have a reaction.
Record or keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them . Include a brief description of each situation, answering questions such as:
- Where were you?
- Who was involved?
- What was your reaction?
- How did you feel?
Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
Next, review your journal. You might find obvious causes of stress, such as the threat of losing your job or obstacles with a particular project. You might also notice subtle but persistent causes of stress, such as a long commute, pace of work, many interruptions, or an uncomfortable workspace.
Am I Anxious Or Just Stressed
We often use the words anxiety and stress interchangeably. Yet despite their similarities, there are important differences between the two.
- Stress is typically defined as a response to an external trigger, and can either be acute or chronic .
- Anxiety, unlike stress, is often triggered internally by excessive thoughts judgments about the past, worries about the future, and so on.
- When left unchecked, both stress and anxiety can escalate into more severe mental health conditions, and anxiety disorders.
- Determining whats going on for you is the first step towards finding relief.
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Youre working on a deadline when your boss pings you. Its 3 pm and he wants to know if you have time to help with a project thats due by 5. You dont, not really you still havent eaten lunch. Its kind of urgent, he explains, apologizing for the late notice. A pit settles in your stomach, and your thoughts begin to race. Of course, you reply. Id be happy to help. Its not like saying no would be any less stressful.
In your head, a voice quickly pipes in to remind you of how poorly you work under pressure. Remember last time, that panic attack? You cant prepare an entire deck in two days, let alone two hours! Imagine how easy this would be for your coworkers. Why cant you be more like them? Face it: youre probably going to be stuck at this job forever.
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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.
Youve Become Indifferent Sexually
When youre stressed out and have a ton of issues on your mind, your sex drive is likely to decrease. You might be frustrated about it and wish you could do something about it, but when the opportunity arises, youll find yourself not being able to focus, or not being in the mood at all. Try to relieve stress by exercising often.
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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.
Signs Your Teen Is Stressed Out
Aron Janssen, MD is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and is the vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry Northwestern University.
Although teens dont have to worry about bills, a career, or holding down a household, they experience different sources of stress. They deal with issues like bullying, peer pressure, and academic issues which can be very stressful.
Without appropriate support, stressed-out teens may be at a higher risk for mental health problems, academic problems, and health issues. So it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs your teen is feeling stressed out. Then, you can intervene sooner, rather than later.
Here are some of the top signs that your teen is stressed out.
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Social Media And Stress
So, if youre feeling stressed without any apparent reason, you can see there are plenty of opportunities for you to make life more difficult than it perhaps already is.
The good news, therefore, is that you can at the very least provide your body/mind with some stress relief by tackling the above issues.
Decreased Energy And Insomnia
Chronic fatigue and can also be caused by prolonged stress.
For example, one study of 2,483 people found that fatigue was strongly associated with increased stress levels .
Stress may also disrupt sleep and cause insomnia, which can lead to low energy.
One small study found that higher levels of work-related stress were associated with increased sleepiness and restlessness at bedtime .
Another study of 2,316 participants showed that experiencing a higher number of stressful events was significantly associated with an increased risk of insomnia .
These studies show an association, but they dont account for other factors that may have played a role. Further research is needed to determine if stress can directly cause decreased energy levels.
Other factors that may play a role in decreased energy levels include dehydration, low blood sugar, a poor diet or an underactive thyroid.
Summary Stress is associated with fatigue and disruptions in sleep, which may result in decreased energy levels.
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