Stress and anxiety is part of most of our lives. We can feel it when we’re excited and happy, or sad and depressed. The term “stress” is used, sometimes incorrectly, as a catchall for many different emotions or stimuli. Your body and brain may experience stress in response to any demand. You could feel stressed by work, school, exercise, traumatic events (a car crash or the death of a loved one), or even happy life changes (a marriage or new baby).
Too much anxiety can harm your health, which is why you need to know when to seek support.
1. Learn your triggers and what can make things worse. Make up your own list. Sometime seeing it on paper helps you own it.
- Too much caffeine
- Skipping a meal
- Large crowds
- Trying on clothes
- Being late to work
2. Decide what you can do that will help minimize these triggers. Think of these as self-help strategies.
- I will put healthy snacks in my desk drawer or in my car.
- Next time I need a dress, I will order it online.
- I will stop for gas on my way home so I do not have to do it in the morning
- I will get to the baseball game early so I do not have to wait in line with everyone.
3. Prioritize. What is causing you the most stress and try to tackle that one problem.
- Bills! I cannot budget so I will find a budgeting app or seek professional help.
- I need a job. Get my resume done. There are templates or software I can use.
- I have to say no because I do not have the time.
4. Take care of yourself. If you do not do it, nobody else will.
- Get enough sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, this can make anxiety worse.
- Don’t skip meals. Get some easy to make options.
- Move your body. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to anxiety and mental health issues. Put down that phone; walk away from the screen and stop binge watching!
- Turn on music. Music is powerful and can lower stress, make you happy, energize you, and help you relax.
5. Redefine your attitude and accept what is out of your control.
- If a problem is too big, what parts of it can you take care of and gain some control?
- Don’t make things bigger than they are. Stop overthinking and redirect your thinking to something else.
- Stop listening to so much negative news. You will be surprised how much less worry and irritability you will have.
- Get out there and make things happen. Reconnect with friends. They may help you put a whole new perspective on things.
Remember if you feel anxiety is disrupting your life or has become persistent or excessive, contact your doctor. They can help you. You can also sign up for a MyHealth health coaching class on stress or anxiety. Log in to MyHealth OnLine to see what’s available.
Anxiety Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201208/anxiety-symptoms
2018 Sussex Publishers, LLC
(2015, September 26). How Sitting Can Increase Your Anxiety. Retrieved August 15, 2018, from http://thebrainflux.com/how-sitting-can-increase-your-anxiety/
News Editor, P. (2015). Sometimes a Little Anxiety Can Be Good. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/04/03/sometimes-a-little-anxiety-can-be-good/2111.html