Anxiety & Stress
The human body is designed to cope with a certain degree of stress, and in some instances, stress can be helpful. For example, if you are studying for a test, stress may help keep you alert and motivated. However, when we experience continuous stress over long periods, that is when problems can occur.
Your body’s natural reaction to stress, that ‘fight or flight’ response we hear about, helps your body respond to stress. However, if it is activated too often, you can start to suffer from behavioural, emotional and even physical symptoms. These might include chest pain, digestive problems such as IBS, high blood pressure and exhaustion. You may also experience panic attacks, suffer from depression or start feeling anxious.
People often resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage their stress, such as drinking too much or compulsive behaviour like gambling, shopping or sex addiction. Some people develop eating disorders as a reaction to stress.
Healthier ways to combat stress include exercise, meditation, taking time out from work and avoiding drugs and alcohol.
If you’ve ever felt anxious before a first date or giving a speech, then you know how that mixture of nerves and fear can take over your body. Feeling nervous before events such as this is natural. Still, if you are experiencing extreme anxiety over an extended period, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can take on several forms. Panic disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder are probably the most talked about. However, suffering from phobias, illness anxiety, separation anxiety and PTSD are just some other forms of anxiety that people may suffer from.
A combination of triggers may cause anxiety. These include your environment (job or home life), genetics and even your brain chemistry.
Symptoms of anxiety may include panic attacks, disassociation (feeling disconnected from your body), trouble concentrating or sleeping and rapid breathing.
Maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding stimulants and depressants (alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and drugs), and taking time to get adequate sleep and even meditate can help quell the symptoms of anxiety.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, you may suffer from the adverse effects of stress and anxiety. Rather than resorting to unhealthy behaviours or ignoring the problem, why not give me a call. We can discuss what may be triggering your problem and look at how you can manage your stress or anxiety in a healthier and more productive way.