Stress and Anxiety Management
Stress and anxiety are normal parts of our lives, but too much of it can leave us paralyzed. When we worry too much about unknown consequences, too many or too few options, limited time or money, our anxiety over the results stops us from making progress. Common thoughts that cause this to happen include the following:
- I'm not ready. Similar to procrastination, you think that you're not ready to make the next step, and you never are.
- But what if? You think about ALL of the possibilities - things that can go right, and especially all the things that can go wrong.
- It didn't work before. You keep reliving past negative experiences and turn back after every step you make to avoid making a mistake again.
- I need to have control. You have a hard time distinguishing between what can be changed and what you cannot. As a result, you waste energy on thinking about circumstances that are out of your control.
Chronic stress and anxiety can be caused by:
- Chemicals - drugs and pollutants
- Emotional - anger, fear, guilt, loneliness
- Social - decreased social interactions, decreased positive social interactions
- Mental - anxiety, long work hours, media overload, worry
- Nutritional - allergies, vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Physical - exertion, health, lack of sleep, travel
- Spiritual - financial or career pressure, relationships, spirituality
- Traumatic - grief, injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, surgery
Chronic stress and anxiety can affect all areas of functioning.
- Emotions - moodiness, irritability, agitation, sense of isolation, depression
- Cognitive - memory problems, poor judgment, racing thoughts, constant worrying
- Physical - heart problems, high blood pressure, chemical bodily imbalance, acne, , diabetes
- Social - isolation, irritability
What can you do about it?
By working with me, you will learn to adapt stress management strategies into your daily routine and schedules. The following is a list of stress-busters:
- Stay active - Physical activity releases endorphins (known as the happy hormone) into our system
- Mindfulness - The practice of mindfulness is widely used in alternative medicine. Practice being mindful of your mood and stress levels, practice meditation, utilize deep breathing, and try yoga
- Help others - Helping others also releases endorphins and can help in stabilizing your mood
- Assess your nutrition - Make sure you are getting all the vital vitamins
- Get enough sleep - Aim for 7-8 hours a night
- Stay hydrated - When we are dehydrated, our bodies and minds tend to shut down, affecting our performance in daily activities and causing stress
- Take a break - Ideally, you want to take a quick break every 20 minutes to look away from the computer, get up and stretch, or use the bathroom. 10 seconds to look out the window is better than nothing!
Resources for You
American Heart Association (AHA): Stress Management
American Psychology Association (APA): Coping with Stress and Anxiety
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC): Stress at Work
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Managing Stress