Help! I’m Stressed And Anxious

By: Cheryl Hitchcock

Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand, especially in our stressful, fast-paced culture. Sometimes it feels like everything—jobs, home, relationships, money—is compounding to cause greater amounts of stress.

When stress becomes a problem our fears and worries are heightened to the point where the body starts to react. Stress increases heart rate and respiration, makes us feel anxious, nervous, and fearful, and it can cause conditions that are detrimental to us, both mentally and physically.

The worse the stress becomes without a healthy coping strategy, the more anxious we tend to feel. It’s as if we’ve opened the door to letting in greater amounts of worry with no relief in sight. If unchecked, stress can lead to problems such as anxiety disorders and even panic attacks.

If you look at the bigger picture, it is absolutely essential to develop healthy coping skills to deal with stress. People often forget there are also good stressors—such as the stress of getting married or getting ready to go on vacation—that cause similar physical and mental reactions in the body. Knowing how to deal with both good and the bad stress is a life skill you will always use.

Here are a few more things to know about managing stress:

Temporary coping skills do not fix the problem. Dealing with stress by doing something unhealthy, such as drinking too much or another damaging behavior, will increase your stress levels. This is because you’ve just added another stressor to the pile. The original source of stress and anxiety isn’t gone and won’t disappear on its own, especially if you’re avoiding coping with it.

Some people are more prone to stress than others. The severity of stress on a person’s life is gauged by what degree it disrupts every day functioning. For example, if stress is causing work problems or if it a person has recently been fired from a job, the stress is likely going to be greater than for someone in a more stable situation. In addition, the amount of time the stress has been bothering you, its cumulative effects, and how much stress you’re dealing with at any given time all play a part.

Having a support system in place helps relieve stress. People who have close friendships and relationships have one of the greatest coping skills. Studies have shown that having a support system in place is one of the greatest benefits to managing stress. If you’re in a time right now where you don’t have a support system, seeking professional help can help you find an ally.

Worrying about the past or the future is always going to cause stress because neither is under your control. Refusing to acknowledge that the past is over and the future is unknown causes undue amounts of stress and anxiety. Instead, start to notice those times when you are engaged in past thinking or projecting into the future, and bring yourself back into the present moment. This can help you make empowering choices in the only moment that matters: right now.

Having healthy coping skills can help you get through both the good times and the bad times with flying colors. Since stress is an inevitable part of life, learning healthy coping skills is the lifeline to creating a happy, balanced life.



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About the Author:

Cheryl Hitchcock Author of “Give Your Head a Shake..and change your life for the better” is a Stress Management and Spiritual Coach with over 13 years of counselling and spiritual experience. Cheryl enables her clients to manage, as well as eliminate stress and related problems. She also conducts seminars and workshops that cater to Stress Management and Spirituality. For more information please visit the Success Formula for Change teleseminar series to help you move forward to find the job of your dreams.