What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Essential oils, the extract from plants, have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety. Essential oils activate certain areas of your brain and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. They have been found to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, improve mood, and improve sleep.
Recommended use includes diffusing, inhalation, or topical treatment which can aid with anxiety symptoms. When diffusing an essential oil or essential oil blend you will need an essential oil diffuser to fill your space with the desired scent. Inhalation is used by deeply smelling the essential oil straight from the bottle or by applying a drop or two of the oil on something such as a diffuser pad or lava bead that is connected to a bracelet, necklace, or even keychain. You can also place a drop or two of essential oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your hands and take a few deep inhalations to get the desired effect.
You should be sure that the essential oils you use are pure oils and not mixed with chemicals. Some good brands to use include: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, Young Living, Doterra. You can do your own research to find a brand that will best work for you and your budget. Remember that a bottle of essential oil will last a long time since you typically use only a few drops at a time.
Essential oils that are great for treating anxiety include:
Dont Beat Yourself Up After A Presentation
We are the hardest on ourselves and its good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.
You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.
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Eight Tips For Learners To Manage Exam Stress:
Give Yourself A Bedtime
With your busy schedule, theres no time for sleep, right? Some workaholics brag about only needing three or four hours of sleep a night, as if to say, Im more determined and committed than everyone else. But no matter what you might tell yourself, youre not a robot. Humans need sleep to function properly, so unless you beamed in from some nearby planet, this also applies to you.
Whether you deal with insomnia, purposely limit your amount of sleep, or youre a self-professed night owl, chronic sleep deprivation makes you susceptible to anxiety. Do yourself a favor and get eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Develop a bedtime routine to read a book or do something relaxing before bed. The better prepared you are to get a good nights sleep, the better quality of sleep youll have, which leads to a better morning as well.
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Stay Off Social Media
Staying in touch with friends and the support network around you is always important when youre feeling stressed or anxious. But if you need to talk to your friends during Clearing, try to do so over text or by calling them.
Logging into social media on A level results day and seeing everyones posts about their results could make you feel worse about your own situation. Its also likely that your friends will only be posting about their successful uni applications, making you feel like the odd one out for having to apply through Clearing.
So stay offline until youve gone through the Clearing process and remember that youre not alone.
Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
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What Is Anxiety Twitching
Anxiety twitching is a potential symptom of anxiety. Not everyone who has anxiety experiences anxiety twitching as a symptom.
Twitching is when a muscle, or group of muscles, moves without you trying to move it. This could be a small movement or a larger, jerking motion.
Anxiety twitching can affect any muscles in the body and any number of muscles at a time. It may last for a few seconds or much longer.
In some people, anxiety twitching can happen off and on indefinitely.
Eye muscles are commonly affected by anxiety twitching.
Anxiety twitching often gets worse when youre trying to go to sleep, but usually stops while youre sleeping.
It also often gets worse as your anxiety gets worse. However, it may take some time for anxiety twitching to go away after you get less anxious.
Why Wont My Fear Go Away And Leave Me Feeling Normal Again
Fear may be a one-off feeling when you are faced with something unfamiliar.
But it can also be an everyday, long-lasting problem even if you cant put your finger on why. Some people feel a constant sense of anxiety all the time, without any particular trigger.
There are plenty of triggers for fear in everyday life, and you cant always work out exactly why you are frightened or how likely you are to be harmed. Even if you can see how out of proportion a fear is, the emotional part of your brain keeps sending danger signals to your body.
Sometimes you need mental and physical ways of tackling fear.
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Give Yourself An Exit Strategy
Sometimes, anxiety is due to feeling out of control. You cant always be in the driver seat of your life, but you can take steps to identify your triggers and cope with circumstances that cause anxiety.
Does the thought of going into a social situation or meeting new people make you want to jump off a bridge? As everyone at a party engages in exciting conversations, maybe you see yourself holding up the wall and counting down the seconds until youre put out of your misery. You drove with friends and cant leave, so you spend the entire night looking like the punchbowl attendant. Its this fear that makes you decline invitations and sleep through the weekends.
But what if you had an exit strategy in place before leaving the house? For example, instead of carpooling with your party animal friends, you could drive yourself. This way, you can leave if your anxiety starts to build and you cant handle another minute of awkward interactions. The more in control you feel, the less anxiety youll have.
Be Selective About The News You Watch Or Listen To
We are receptive beings and we are constantly influenced by our surroundings. Be aware of your environment and what you are exposing yourself to in terms of positive and negative energy. Often, the news can be a source of negative energy and can lead to a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness. Of course, it is a good thing to be informed about the world but be aware of the effect this has on you and if you find that you are easily influenced by others and your surroundings, limit your time watching informative programs of a negative nature.
It is a good idea to figure out what works for you and have an anti-stress strategy. Whether thats regular exercise, achieving more of a work/leisure balance or making time to follow your passion, its vital to prepare a system that you can call upon when you feel frazzled. Energy awareness is key in order to reduce stress and anxiety. Limit negative energy sources and increase positive energy sources to maintain a relatively stress and anxiety free life.
Youre standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body your heartbeat has gone off the charts.
Dont worry, youre not the only one with glossophobia. Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.
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Exam Stress: 8 Tips To Cope With Exam Anxiety
Exam time is really not easy, so you won’t be alone in feeling a bit overwhelmed by revision from time to time. But remember: you got this and these stress-busting tips can hugely help.
Credit: Dean Drobot , Rebecca Fondren Photo – Shutterstock
Ah, that old familiar knot in your stomach that tells you exams are looming. While some people like to believe a bit of anxiety and pressure can be beneficial around exam time, science suggests otherwise.
When we’re stressed, our brains release high levels of cortisol which can cloud the way we think and gets in the way of rational thoughts. Because of this, it’s important to stay as cool, calm and collected as you can during the exam period.
Yes, easier said than done.
Follow the practical steps below to relieve exam stress and the awful symptoms. The tips will also improve your productivity, help absorb more information from revision notes, and increase your chances of absolutely smashing it in your exams.
Break Up With Caffeine
A cup of coffee, chocolate, or an ice-cold Coke might help you feel better. But if caffeine is your go-to drug of choice, your anxiety could worsen.
Caffeine gives the nervous system a jolt, which can boost energy levels. But when under pressure, this nervous energy can induce an anxiety attack. Now, the idea of giving up your favorite caffeinated beverage might raise your heart rate and induce anxiety as you read this, but you dont have to stop cold turkey or give up caffeine completely. Its all about moderation.
Rather than four cups of coffee a day, scale back to one or two normal-sized cups a day normal as in 8 ounces, not 16 or 32 ounces. Give it a test run and see how you feel. As you wean yourself, slowly introduce other beverages into your diet such as decaffeinated herbal tea, which can calm your mind and nerves.
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Squash The Uncomfortable Consequences Of Stress And Anxiety
Like monsters under the bed, stress and anxiety are stealing the peaceful nighttime rest of nearly 70 million Americans. Anxiety may also be sabotaging your confidence, turning your stomach into knots, and impacting your general well-being. You can begin to squash the uncomfortable consequences of stress and anxiety by trying out these tips:
1. Remember: This Too Shall Pass.
Laundry is piling up, the baby has a fever, and your boss wanted that report yesterday. Sound familiar? No one managing his or her own life is devoid of stress, and too much can lead to excessive worry, nervousness, dread, upset stomach, or difficulty breathing. The first step to overcoming such negative feelings is to recognize that you are experiencing a very common emotional state most commonly identified as anxiety. Although it’s uncomfortable, those negative feelings will pass. Fighting the anxiety can just make it stronger paradoxically, accepting that you are feeling anxious helps activate the body’s natural relaxation response.
2. Learn How to Self-Soothe.
Self soothing techniques that reduce the stress response:
3. Check Your Diet.
An imbalance of bacteria in the gut can also cause many symptoms associated with anxiety and other mood disorders. Researchers at McMaster University found evidence that the balance of bacteria in your gut may have more to do with your mood than any other contributing factor.
4. Get Moving.
5. Get More Sleep.
Five Ways Parents Can Support Their Child During Exams:
1. Prioritise mental well-being
Identify stress triggers that can cause fear and anxiety in your child. Help them deal with negativity by finding ways of coping with these feelings, so that they can regain focus. Help your teenager set up a dedicated study space to give them a sense of control and ensure that your home is a calm, productive, and supportive space.
2. Encourage a regular sleep cycle
A disrupted sleep pattern can send stress levels through the roof, especially if that big exam is looming. Remind your teenager about the importance of getting enough uninterrupted sleep. Plan meals around their schedule and try to eat together as a family, so that disruptions are kept to a minimum.
3. Promote a healthy lifestyle
Studying for exams requires time and effort, but it should not be to the detriment of your childs health. Encourage them to step away from their books occasionally, so that they can clear their head. Ensure they get enough physical exercise, nutritional meals, quality sleep and reduce screen time as much as possible.
4. Set realistic expectations
As a parent, you want your child to do well, but it is also important that your expectations, as well as your childs own expectations, are realistic and achievable. Discuss their goals with them and help map out their study plan, so that they can get a sense of direction and the desired expectations.
5. Be a shining light
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Talk Yourself Through It
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing.
Dont worry about seeming crazy just tell yourself why youre stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
Drink Coffee Regularly Because It May Help You Manage Stress
This trick might seem counterintuitive, given that too much caffeine at one time has the potential to make us anxious and jittery.
Yet one study, conducted on mice, suggests that coffee can actually help us deal with stressful situations. Researchers gave one group of mice drinking water with caffeine and another group regular water. Then all the mice were subjected to stressors like cold baths and having their cage tilted.
As it turns out, the mice who drank regular water showed stress-induced changes in their brain and behavior like acting helpless and performing worse on memory tests but the mice who drank caffeinated water didn’t exhibit any of these changes.
Future research is necessary to determine whether these findings apply to humans as well.
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Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
How To Handle Anxiety Effectively
In celebration of the release of my book, The Anxiety Toolkit, Ive put together a cheat sheet of 50 strategies you can use for beating anxiety and feeling calmer. The book expands on many of the following techniques, and includes tons more tools, strategies and ways to help anxiety. But this cheat sheet will give you a very solid start if youre searching for ways to reduce your anxiety and de-stress effectively today.
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including: