Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Coping strategies and personal assessment tools to help you manage your stress and anxiety as we adapt the next normal.
- Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Coping with stress and anxiety
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen in Canada and around the world, many are grappling to adjust to new norms for return to work and day-to-day life. At the same time, communities are coping with tremendous loss, grief, and trauma, while facing an uncertain future. to explore our section on grief, loss and healing.
Its normal to feel concerned about whats next and its important to continue using the strategies and tools youve relied on to support yourself and your family in this challenging time.
Here are some ideas that might be helpful. Some might apply to you and some might not or they may need to be adapted to suit you personally, your personality, where and with whom you live, or your culture. Please be creative and experiment with these ideas and strategies.
COVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about it. The uncertainty about the virus and the changes that are unfolding can make most people feel a bit anxious. This is normal, and it actually can help motivate us to take action to protect ourselves and others, and to learn more about the pandemic.
Stay informed by checking information provided by experts and credible sources. A lot of information is disseminated about COVID-19 every day, but not all of it is accurate. Some reliable sources include:
Do I Need Treatment For Anxiety
Thereâs a lot you can do on your own to relieve anxiety, but sometimes you need help. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety disorders.
Signs that itâs time to talk to a mental health professional include:
- Constant or nearly constant anxiety
- Anxiety that gets in the way of your daily activities, like work or social life
- Anxiety about things that donât actually threaten you
- Panic attacks
Check your health insurance policy to see what mental health services your plan covers. Then, review a list of your in-network providers to find one to connect with.
âYou donât want to add to your anxiety by paying big out-of-pocket fees,â Kissen says.
Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend a mental health professional with experience treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Rosmarin notes that itâs important to find a provider you click with and trust. He also says therapy doesnât need to go on indefinitely to be effective.
âA course of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety may be eight to 10 sessions,â he says. âThereâs also data to suggest that people feel substantially better after just one therapy session for panic disorder.â
Pay Attention To Sleep
Some people have a hard time going to sleep even at night, because of too much stress or worry. Sometimes, such worry or stress leads to sleep disorders. On the other hand, a sleep disorder may come first, and result in anxiety in the long run. Having said that, research has found out that sleep deprivation may contribute to the aggravations of anxiety.
Moreover, a lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing heart disease or heart failure. Some may also increase their risk of having high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleep pattern.
On a much deeper view, disrupted sleep is almost present in other mental health issues like depression, affecting your daily living. For instance, it can negatively impact your work performance, academic performance, cognitive ability, and increases the risk of physical injury. Surely, these health problems that may arise in the future may create additional worries. Therefore, it is better to take care of your sleeping pattern as early as possible.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Chronic Stress
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
Controlled Deep Breathing Activity
There are several types of deep breathing exercises that can help you activate your nervous system, which controls the relaxation from the stress.
1. Sit upright in a comfortable position.
2. Concentrate on your present state and presence . Shut out meddlesome musings. You may close your eyes on the off chance that you wish.
3. Focus on your relaxing. Breathe in gradually through the nose, taking a few seconds.
4. Breathe out through the mouth, attempting to make the exhalation stage keep going twice the length of the inward breath.
5. Proceed with this careful relaxing for three to five minutes.
Your body needs time to recover from unwanted stressful events of life. So dont depend on alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to relieve stress.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If You Are Stressed At Work
How Can You Stop Worrying
Chronic worry can quickly start to negatively impact your day-to-day life and overall mental health. Thankfully, with a little practice, you can make excessive worry a thing of the past.
Here are our best strategies for how to stop worrying and finally start living:
This list could go on forever, but lets take a deeper dive into our favorite methods for how to stop worrying, manage stress, and take back your life.
How Can I Treat Anxiety
Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment option is cognitive behavioral therapy , which helps provide people with tools to cope with anxiety when it occurs.
There are also certain medications, like antidepressants and sedatives, that work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. They may even ward off the most severe symptoms.If youre looking to go a more natural route, though, there are little and big ways you can help combat anxiety.
You can make adjustments to habits, like exercise, sleep, and diet. You can also try something totally new, like aromatherapy or meditation. No matter what your lifestyle demands, theres a natural way to help reduce anxiety for everyone.
Read Also: How To Lower Stress Hormones Naturally
Avoid Drugs Alcohol And Stimulants
Stimulants are chemicals that excite your nervous system, making it work faster and harder. Using stimulants can worsen your anxiety symptoms, so cutting these out can help you to manage your anxiety. Some of the most common stimulants are:
- caffeine, which is found in coffee and tea
- nicotine, which is found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, chews and vape pens
- drugs such as cocaine.
Its ideal to avoid alcohol and drugs in general when youre experiencing anxiety. If youre using substances to feel better or to relax, you might become dependent on them and they could make you feel worse in the long run.
When To See A Doctor
While natural treatments can help with anxiety symptoms, some signs may indicate that you need to call your doctor:
- Your anxiety is chronic , and it interferes with your ability to function daily
- Your symptoms have persisted for six months or more
- Youâre experiencing physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, difficulty sleeping, stomach issues, or chronic fatigue
- Youâre avoiding people or places
- Youâre having thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or refer you to a specialist. In some cases, the natural remedies described above may be used along with more conventional treatments to help you manage your symptoms.
Also Check: How To Stop Stress Breakouts
Types Of Relaxation Techniques
However, a whole range of relaxation practices can help you power down and de-stress.
There’s no one shoe that fits all, Smith says. He points to five or six approaches based on scientific observation and experience that really do work for stress reduction. There are other therapies, too, that you might find helpful. You can do one at a time or you can practice some together.
How Much Stress And Anxiety Is Too Much
The point at which worry and anxiety become unhealthy is when they immobilize us rather than inspire us to act.
Whether we’re worried about things in the future, or so stressed and anxious we can’t move forward, the stress takes a toll on our minds and bodies, and affects our health. Excessive or unmanaged anxiety can become unhealthy if it takes the form of an anxiety disorder, for example.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Anxiety Twitching
Treating anxiety is the best way to treat anxiety twitching.
If a doctor thinks your twitching is caused by anxiety, they may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. They can do a more in-depth diagnosis of your anxiety and help you find the best treatment option.
Treatments for anxiety may include:
- psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing negative thought patterns and reactions
- medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications
In most cases, the twitching itself doesnt need treatment. However, home remedies and preventive measures may be able to help.
What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
Affordable Online Therapy for Stress
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Tips To Manage Stress
In todays society, stress and change often are thought of as the same thing. Stress is a physiological and psychological response to situations the body and mind find to be overwhelming. We often ask ourselves how we should manage stress. There are many ways people manage stress and reduce the overall stress of day-to-day activities. With the fast pace of work and home, and being constantly inundated with technology and still wanting to have time to connect with those around us, our lives can feel overwhelming and stressful at times.
Manage how you live with these five tips to feel less stressed:
1. Use guided meditation.
Guided meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. There are many guided meditations available on the internet that can help you find 5 minutes of centered relaxation.
2. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing is a great way to reduce the activation of your sympathetic nervous system, which controls the bodys response to a perceived threat. Deep breaths taken in to a count of five seconds, held for two seconds and released to a count of five seconds, can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce the overall stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
3. Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition.
4. Manage social media time.
5. Connect with others.
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Write Down Your Thoughts
This could be your golden rule and one of the best things to help with anxiety and stress. When your mind is being boggled with multiple thoughts, better bring a pen & paper and start the list of things YOU HAVE, and you are grateful for. It could be anything like having food twice a day, owning a car or able to breathe in the fresh air.
After this, try to find why are you so having much anxiety and can things be better if you are not? We are sure you will be able to focus on the positives of your life after this and certainly help with stress and anxiety.
Also Read: Knowing the Power of Penning Down Things
Also Check: Can Too Much Stress Cause Depression
How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In 10 Steps
We all experience stress and anxiety at one time or another. For some, it may be more severe than others, but one thing is for sure: we can all agree that a stress-free life is a happy one. If you are fed up with your stress and anxiety, you may be wondering how to reduce stress. The good news is there are plenty of stress reducers that you can incorporate into your life to help you.
Step One: Think Ahead
Stressful triggers are usually repetitive. If you’re dealing with stress and anxiety, you may find that the same things each month cause you unneeded stress. Some examples include past due bills, laundry piling up, or deadlines at work.
Once you identify the problems in your life that consistently stress you out, you can begin working to eliminate them by planning ahead.
If money problems seem to be constantly plaguing you, it may be time to consider coming up with a budget. A budget can help you to meet your financial goals by setting aside money for those important bills so that you don’t have to worry when it comes time to pay them.
If you have issues setting aside time to do housework or laundry, you could set aside one day of each week to take care of these duties. For example, you could do all the laundry on Sundays and clean the house on Mondays.
Be sure not to pile too much work onto one day, or you could risk becoming even more stressed from the amount of work you have to do that day.
Step Two: Tweak your Morning Routine
Step Seven: Rock Out
Keep Things In Perspective
Your expectations, self-judgments and opinions can be as stressful as external factors.
You can learn how to release stress by focusing on the positive side of things when the going gets tough.
Instead of being hard on yourself for failing to perform in a demanding situation , focus on the positive aspects of your life.
Related:10 Positive Affirmations To Tell Yourself Every Morning And Start Attracting What You Want In Life
When you feel overwhelmed by a challenging and difficult situation, take out your journal, like this one.
Write down all the good things in your life and the achievements that you are proud of. Turn the pages to read what you have written in previous incidents.
This will help you to maintain a balanced perspective and to cope better with the situation at hand.
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What Makes Us Worry
One of the keys to learning how to stop worrying is discovering the root of your fears.
For better or for worse, worrying is part of how weve evolved as humans. Biologically, our central nervous system often responds to stress and fear by worrying. When this happens, the first step to stop worrying is to reflect on what exactly is causing your anxiety.
Some feelings of worry can be healthy, pushing us to find solutions to real and present problems. However, chronic worry, even about things out of our control, can severely impact our mental health. The good news? There is a multitude of strategies to help us learn how to stop worrying, manage stress, and start thriving.
Ready to take your leaders to the next level? Try a demo of BetterUp.
Prioritize Getting A Good Nights Rest
Sleep has been proven time and time again to be an important part of good mental health.
Even though a 2012 survey found that nearly a third of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, the that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.
You can make sleep a priority by:
- only sleeping at night when youre tired
- not reading or watching television in bed
- not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed
- not tossing and turning in your bed or going to another room if you cant sleep
- avoiding caffeine, large meals, and nicotine before bedtime
- keeping your room dark and cool
- writing down your worries before going to bed
- going to sleep at the same time each night
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Excessive Worry Can Make You Physically Ill
Physical signs can be the first sign that constant worrying is becoming a problem. Headaches, stomach aches, and shortness of breath can indicate that youre experiencing excessive worry.
- Stomach pain, nausea, or other gastrointestinal problems
- Sweating more than usual
- Feeling restless, tense, or paranoid
These symptoms can also serve as a sign to examine how youre feeling. You may need to practice deep breathing and focus on relieving your worry. Ultimately, one of the first steps towards learning how to stop worrying is to identify these physical symptoms.