Stress And Physical Illness
When we feel under stress, our body kicks into high gear to deal with the threat. Our heartbeat, breathing rate and blood pressure all go up. The longer we feel stressed, the greater the demand on our body.The more often we are placed under stress, the more often we have to use energy to cope. There is growing evidence that stress may contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease , high blood pressure, proneness to infection and chronic fatigue.Whatever the cause, physical diseases need appropriate medical management before any attempt is made at stress management. Discuss with your doctor how stress management may be used to support treatment of your physical symptoms.
Tricks To Reduce Stress And Anxiety At Work
byRaymond NovelloMarch 4, 2022, 3:24 am
With todays culture of being always on, the line between work and personal life has become blurred. That, among other factors, causes stress from time to time. And it often leads to constantly worrying and panicking about outcomes that, in most cases, you cannot control. That is called anxiety. Today, millions of people around the world suffer from a type of anxiety disorder at some point in their life. And these cases are often at work.
With these handy tips, you will learn how to manage stress in no time. Make your workweek stress and anxiety-free with these pointers.
Whats The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety
Knowing the difference can ensure you get the help you need.
Whats the difference between stress and anxiety?
Theres a fine line between stress and anxiety. Both are emotional responses, but stress is typically caused by an external trigger. The trigger can be short-term, such as a work deadline or a fight with a loved one or long-term, such as being unable to work, discrimination, or chronic illness. People under stress experience mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, anger, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is defined by persistent, excessive worries that dont go away even in the absence of a stressor. Anxiety leads to a nearly identical set of symptoms as stress: insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, muscle tension, and irritability.
Both mild stress and mild anxiety respond well to similar coping mechanisms. Physical activity, a nutritious and varied diet, and good sleep hygiene are a good starting point, but there are other .
Anxiety disorders are common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 19% of Americans over the age of 18 had an anxiety disorder in the past year, and 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetimes.
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Treatment Of Anxiety Disorders
The two main treatments for anxiety are psychotherapy and medication, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
- Psychotherapy: Talk therapy is effective in helping people identify, process, and cope with their triggers of anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a highly effective, short-term treatment that helps people learn specific skills to target their specific triggers.
- Medication: Antidepressants generally have some mild side effects but help alleviate some symptoms of anxiety. Antidepressants can be used for an extended period of time. Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication that can also be used on an ongoing basis. Benzodiazepines can be used on a limited basis to mitigate anxiety symptoms, but they can be habit-forming. All medications should be thoroughly discussed with your healthcare provider. Any side effects should be reported immediately. Never discontinue the use of these medications without supervision from your healthcare provider.
- Lifestyle changes: There are several changes you can make at home before you try medications. Daily exercise, good sleep hygiene, healthy eating, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol are all home remedies that can decrease symptoms of anxiety.
Control Your Anxiety And Stress
In our day to day lives, we all experience stress one way or another. Stress is typically part of our daily lives, but that doesnt mean it has to control us we can learn to control it. Stress can be physical, mental, emotional there are many ways in which stress can take form.
There is also an endless list of things that can cause stress, as it truly varies from person to person. It can be outside pressures, overwhelming responsibility, feelings of uncertainty, dramatic changes in life, illness, etc Hard times throughout life can cause an increase in stress hormones, and one of the main symptoms of stress is anxiety. About 18% of the US adult population are affected by anxiety disorders . And while anxiety can be treated by ones own self, the majority of those affected dont reach out for help or even know where to start.
One way for us to help better ourselves is to, ultimately, start with ourselves. We can adjust our lifestyles to help reduce that anxiety and stress, whether it be through the foods that we eat or the activities that we take part in. Through different activities that we introduce into our lifestyles, we can help reduce that anxiety and stress!
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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.
Does Anxiety Make You More Itchy At Night
Some people with anxiety-related itching report that their itching is worse at night. Itchy skin at night is also called nocturnal pruritus. While researchers dont know exactly why this happens, there are a few theories .
First, your body increases blood flow to the skin at night, and your skin tends to retain less moisture both of which could potentially worsen itchy sensations.
In addition, the body releases fewer anti-inflammatory corticosteroids at night, while releasing higher levels of certain itch-related hormones.
Also, unlike during the day when we have plenty of distractions, lying in bed at night can draw our attention to the sensations in our body, including itchy skin, making it feel more itchy.
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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:
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.
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Gamma Ray Optics Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Price: $
- How it may help with anxiety: Blue light can disrupt our brains natural sleep-wake cycles. Blocking this light contributes to a better nights sleep, which may reduce anxiety.
Weve all heard the news that blue light before bed is one of the most common sleep disruptors. While its a nice idea to power down a few hours before bed and pull out a book instead, thats not always possible.
What is possible is reducing the visual strain caused by regular computer and smartphone use. These Gamma Ray Optics glasses were created to block the blue light that could disrupt your sleep patterns and affect your mental health.
How To Manage Your Anxiety And Stress
Its totally normal to feel anxious from time to time, but there are lots of things you can do to feel a bit better. Remember: theres a difference between feeling stressed every now and then, and experiencing ongoing anxiety. If the anxiety is starting to take a toll and you’re looking for ways to deal with it, consider talking to a mental health professional. Get started and learn how to deal with stress and anxiety.
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Engage In Physical Activities
Want to get rid of all the stress you are going through at work? Getting physical exercise is a healthy way to combat stress. As odd as that sounds, stressing your body can help relieve your mental stress. That is because working out lowers the hormone known as cortisol and helps release endorphins, which improve your mood. Start with simple stress relief activities such as taking lunch break walks or yoga. You can also sign up at a gym near your home or office.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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Emotional First Aid Kit
An emotional first aid kit can provide an immediate, although temporary, positive effect on the way we think and feel. Having an emotional first aid kit readily available can help people who are struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self esteem, or other mental and emotional issues.
Perceived Stress Scale *
How stressful do you perceive events in your life to be? This scale helps to answer this. For example, people with higher scores on the PSS might be more vulnerable to symptoms of depression from stressful life events.
* You may take the test as many times as you like. The data is used to score your results and CAMH will not be able to link the results back to you in any way. CAMH stores results from all tests and may use the anonymous aggregate data from results to look at general trends in use of the test, general trends in overall results over time, average scores, and other similar patterns.
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Spend Time With Friends And Family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.
Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .
Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.
Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:
- Relieving your stress response.
- Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (
Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.
One way to do this may be to say no more often.
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.
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Untreated Anxiety Disorders And Depression
Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to serious depression. Depressive illness is common about 17% of Australians will suffer from depression at some time in their life.Depression is about twice as common in women as in men. The most common time in life for people to suffer from depression is in their 40s. However, it can develop at any age. Depression is often associated with an increased incidence of suicide. The annual suicide rate for people with depression is three or four times higher than that of other psychiatric disorders.
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:
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Lexsion Felt Purse Bag Organizer
- Price: $
- How it may help with anxiety: Staying organized helps make it quick and easy to find the things you need on a daily basis, to focus and free up your mind.
If your mind is in a million different places, it can be helpful to simplify when and where you can.
If you carry a purse, a purse organizer is an easy way to free up a little brain space and make sure you always know where everything is. This organizer has 13 pockets for complete organization. It comes in four sizes and slips into a wide range of purse brands.
Speaking from personal experience, this product has helped in ways I didnt think possible. Less time rummaging for my keys or credit cards saves valuable seconds and loads of immediate stress.