The American Psychological Association’s (APA) reported in their 2017 Stress in America survey, that 36% of people said that stress makes them feel more nervous or anxious. It’s often difficult to determine the difference between stress and anxiety. Both can present symptoms such as sleepless nights, exhaustion, excessive worry, lack of focus, and irritability, as well as physical issues such as increased heart rate, headaches, etc. But there is a real difference between anxiety and stress. And often-times, one or the other can turn into a debilitating mental health issue that could require help from a therapist.
Stress is generally a short-term response to outside triggers, and when it is negative, your body is typically responding to a “fight or flight” reflex. Stress is often a lead-in to bigger issues, such as Anxiety Disorders and physical ailments such as a heart attack, stomach issues.
Anxiety sticks around even after the trigger that caused your stress is gone. It is considered a mental health disorder and can have adverse effects on daily living.
Symptoms may include:
- Frequent headaches
- Inability to socialize
- Stomach issues
- Lack of focus
- Low energy
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Aches and pains
- Chest pain or rapid heartbeat
- Increase drug or alcohol consumption (numbing out)
When to seek help?
Simply put, if your stress has reached such a level that you’re anxious can’t function day-to-day, it’s time to seek help. Failure to know healthy actions for coping with these symptoms can lead to “numbing out” behaviors such as alcohol abuse, overeating, misuse of medications, compulsive shopping, anger outbursts or isolation. Obtaining coaching on portable stress busters can help alleviate, reduce, and control symptoms. Treatment options can include Talk Therapy, Yoga Therapy, EMDR and Mental Imagery.
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