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Stress or Anxiety

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Contrary to widespread belief, there is a difference between stress and anxiety. (“Stress Management (5) The Difference Between STRESS And …”) Stress comes from the pressures we feel in life, as we are pushed by work or any other task that puts undue pressure on our minds and body, adrenaline is released, extended stay of the hormone causes depression, a rise in the blood pressure and other negative changes and effects.

One of these negative effects is anxiety. With anxiety, fear overcomes all emotions accompanied by worry and apprehension, making a person a recluse and a bagful of jitters. (“Stress Or Anxiety?”) Other symptoms are chest pains, dizziness, and shortness of breath and panic attacks.

Stress is caused by an existing stresscausing factor or stressor. (“Anxiety disorder Flashcards | Quizlet”) Anxiety is stress that continues after that stressor is gone. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or even anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another. (“Anxiety – The Little White House”)

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or fear and is always accompanied by feelings of impending doom. (“Am I Stressed or Anxious? | How Stressed Am I? – BetterLYF”) “The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress you feel.” (“Firefighter Anxiety – Station Pride”)

“Stress is the way our bodies and minds react to something which upsets our normal balance in life; an example of stress is the response we feel when we are frightened or threatened.” (“How is Anxiety Different from Stress? – Stress & Anxiety”) During stressful events our adrenal glands release adrenaline, a hormone which activates our body’s defense mechanisms causing our hearts to pound, blood pressure to rise, muscles to tense, and the pupils of our eyes to dilate.

A principal indication of increased stress is an escalation in your pulse rate; however, a normal pulse rate does not necessarily mean you are not stressed. (“Bergen County – A Center for Therapy”) Constant aches and pains, palpitations, anxiety, chronic fatigue, crying, over or under- eating, frequent infections, and a decrease in your sexual desire are signs you may notice which indicate you may be under stress.

“Of course, every time we are under stress, we do not react to such an extreme and we are not always under such great duress or fear every time we are confronted with a stressful situation.” (“How is Anxiety Different from Stress? – Stress & Anxiety”)

Some people are more susceptible than others to stress; for some, even ordinary daily decisions seem insurmountable. Deciding what to have for dinner or what to buy at the store, is a monumental dilemma for them. On the other hand, there are those people, who seem to thrive under stress by becoming highly productive being driven by the force of pressure. (“Stressed Out – Part 2”)

Research shows women with children have higher levels of stress related hormones in their blood than women without children. Does this mean women without children do not experience stress? (“Minding Me | The Open College | Online QQI Healthcare …”) Absolutely not! It means that women without children may not experience stress as often or to the same degree which women with children do. This means for women with children, it is particularly important to schedule time for yourself; you will be in a better frame of mind to help your children and meet the daily challenge of being a parent, once your stress level is reduced. (“Stressed Out – Part 2”)

Anxiety, on the other hand, is a feeling of unease. Everybody experiences it when faced with a stressful situation, for example before an exam or an interview, or during a worrying time such as illness. (“How is Anxiety Different from Stress? – Stress & Anxiety”) “It is normal to feel anxious when facing something difficult or dangerous and mild anxiety can be a positive and useful experience.” (“Eastside Medical Research – Anxiety Disorder”)

However, for many people, anxiety interferes with normal life. Excessive anxiety is often associated with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression. “Anxiety is considered abnormal when it is very prolonged or severe, it happens in the absence of a stressful event, or it is interfering with everyday activities such as going to work.” (“How to Cope with Stress and Boost Mood Naturally”)

“The physical symptoms of anxiety are caused by the brain sending messages to parts of the body to prepare for the “fight or flight” response.” (“Anxiety Symptoms – Dr. Dominique Samuels”) “The heart, lungs, and other parts of the body work faster.” (“Full Project – INFLUENCE OF GENDER AND MODE OF STUDY ON …”) The brain also releases stress hormones, including adrenaline. Common indicators of excessive anxiety include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability or anger
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fear of being “crazy”
  • Feeling unreal and not in control of your actions which is called depersonalization. (“Am I Stressed or Anxious? | How Stressed Am I? – BetterLYF”)

Anxiety can be brought on in many ways. Obviously, the presence of stress in your life can make you have anxious thoughts. Many people who suffer from anxiety disorders occupy their minds with excessive worry. This can be worried about anything from health matters to job problems to world issues. (“How to Overcome Anxiety”)

Certain drugs, both recreational and medicinal, can also lead to symptoms of anxiety due to either side effects or withdrawal from the drug. Such drugs include caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cold remedies, and decongestants, bronchodilators for asthma, tricyclic antidepressants, cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills, ADHD medications, and thyroid medications.

A poor diet can also contribute to stress or anxiety — for example, low levels of vitamin B12. Performance anxiety is related to specific situations, like taking a test or making a presentation in public. (“Stress Or Anxiety?”) Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress disorder that develops after a traumatic event like war, physical or sexual assault, or a natural disaster.

In exceedingly rare cases, a tumor of the adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma) may be the cause of anxiety. This happens because of an overproduction of hormones responsible for the feelings and symptoms of anxiety. While anxiety may seem a bit scary, what is even scarier is that excessive anxiety and stress can lead to depression. Suffering from depression can be a lifelong struggle as I well know, but the good news is that all of this is manageable!

So, let us take a few little quizzes to see if you are suffering from too much stress, excessive anxiety, or depression.

 Quiz Time!

“Before you begin here, let us tell you that we are not medical professionals.” (“Tradutoringles.com.br | Tradutor de Inglês Para Português …”) This information has come from reliable sources and is not meant to be a complete diagnostic tool in any way. (“Are You Stressed?”)

“These quizzes are simply guidelines to help you recognize any problems you might have and be able to effectively deal with those problems.” (“Stress Management (7) Are You suffering From to Much …”) Because depression can be the most serious of our topics, let us start by seeing if you may be depressed.

Keep in mind that everyone has their “blue” days. The thing that separates clinical depression from simple melancholy is that the symptoms occur over a period. They do not come and go; they stay around for a while and can affect your life adversely.

Ask yourself the following questions. Answer yes if you have been feeling this way consistently over a period of two weeks. (“best solution for depression – WordPress.com”)

  1. Do you find yourself constantly sad?

“2. Are you un-motivated to do simple things like shower, clean up the house, or make dinner?” (“Are You Stressed?”)

  1. Do people tell you you are overly irritable?
  2. Do you have trouble concentrating?
  3. Are you feeling isolated from family and friends even when they are around you?
  4. Have you lost interest in your favorite activities?
  5. Do you feel hopeless, worthless, or guilty for no reason at all?
  6. Are you always tired and have trouble sleeping?
  7. Has your weight fluctuated significantly?

If you can answer “Yes” to five or more of these questions, you could be suffering from clinical depression. It is important for you to seek out the help of a medical professional whether that be a doctor or a therapist. There are many medications out there that can help with depression.

I always tried to deny my own depression, but once I began taking an anti-depressant, I could not believe what a difference that one pill a day made! It gave me freedom from the “black hole” I had fallen into and helped me enjoy life again, so if you think you are depressed, ACT NOW! You deserve to be happy!

Let us see if you are overly stressed out. Ask yourself the following:

“1. Do you worry constantly and cycle with negative self-talk?” (“ELIMINATE STRESS AND ANXIETY FROM YOUR LIFE–BECOME …”)

  1. Do you have difficulty concentrating?
  2. Do you get mad and react easily?
  3. Do you have recurring neck or headaches?
  4. Do you grind your teeth?
  5. Do you frequently feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed?
  6. Do you feed your stress with unhealthy habits-eating or drinking excessively, smoking, arguing, or avoiding yourself and life in other ways?
  7. Do small pleasures fail to satisfy you?
  8. Do you experience flashes of anger over a minor problem?

If you can answer “Yes” to most of these questions, then you do have excessive stress in your life. The good news is that you have bought this book and will learn many valuable techniques to cope with that stress. (“Tradutoringles.com.br | Tradutor de Inglês Para Português …”) But we will get to that later!

Let us move on to anxiety.

“1. Do you experience shortness of breath, heart palpitation or shaking while at rest?” (“Tradutoringles.com.br | Tradutor de Inglês Para Português …”)

  1. Do you have a fear of losing control or going crazy?
  2. Do you avoid social situations because of fear?
  3. Do you have fears of specific objects?
  4. Do you fear that you will be in a place or situation from which you cannot escape?
  5. Do you feel afraid of leaving your home?
  6. Do you have recurrent thoughts or images that refuse to go away?
  7. Do you feel compelled to perform certain activities repeatedly?
  8. Do you persistently relive an upsetting event from the past?

“Answering “Yes” to more than four of these questions can indicate an anxiety disorder.” (“Stress Management (7) Are You suffering From to Much …”)

Suffering from depression, too much stress, or excessive anxiety can endanger your overall health and it is time to take steps to overcome this – RIGHT NOW!

Stress and anxiety affect many factors in our body not only in our mental state. (“Sure shot success, the 3 (three) Aces approach for winner …”) Cancer and other deadly diseases are related to stress and anxiety because of the changes in the chemical composition in our body due to stress and anxiety.

You do not have to be a victim of stress and anxiety; it is just all about discipline and having a proper schedule. (“Stress Management (7) Are You suffering From to Much …”) Not taking in anything you cannot manage will be a lot of help. Learn your limitations and stick to it. Do not overexert yourself. “Just try to go over the border an inch at a time.” (“Sure shot success, the 3 (three) Aces approach for winner …”)

“You can lead a productive successful and fulfilling life and career without the need to endanger your health.” (“cause of anxiety”) If not, you are not only killing yourself, but you are also sending your family and friends and all the people around you away.

Stress is a natural part of life. “It can be both physical and mental and much of it can come from everyday pressures.” (“Sure shot success, the 3 (three) Aces approach for winner …”) Everyone manages stress differently, some better than others.

“Left unchecked, however, stress can cause physical, emotional, and behavioral disorders which can affect your health, vitality, and peace-of-mind, as well as personal and professional relationships.” (“Stress – NHPA”)

As I have said, stress and anxiety can lead to panic attacks. “Speaking from experience, I can tell you that having a panic attack can be a serious situation.” (“anxiety explained”)

Let us explore that subject a little more tomorrow.

Best Wishes, Coyalita

See Tomorrow: “Panic Attacks”

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