Stress and Anxiety Relationship to Go Together
The dictionary says that "stress" is "a factor that induces mental or bodily tension" or a "state induced by such a stress." (Another definition is "a force which distorts a body," which explains why we get all bent out of shape when we're stressed.)
Anxiety is defined as "painful uneasiness of mind" or "abnormal apprehension and fear, often accompanied by physiological signs, by doubt about the nature and reality of the threat itself, and by self-doubt." Now, that's an interesting definition.
Stress and anxiety are not the same thing, but they do tend to reinforce and perpetuate each other. Stress makes you anxious, and anxiety increases your stress, and it's very important to interrupt that cycle.
Decreasing Stress and Anxiety
One of the problems with anxiety is that it is not focused. When you're afraid, you know what you're afraid of, you can identify it, and fight the threat. When you're anxious, however, it's more of a generalized feeling, and it's difficult to figure out what is making you anxious, while often, the source is subconscious.
Dealing with subconscious stress or anxiety can be difficult. Therapy or counseling can help, but it takes time and hard work. Anxiety can be excruciatingly uncomfortable, and stress and anxiety have terribly negative health effects, so you need something to help with them while you work through therapy.
Medications may be invaluable in decreasing stress and anxiety. Both tranquilizers and antidepressants counteract the stress hormones, and can diminish the feelings of stress and anxiety. These medications can make you less alert, or even drowsy, so it's important not to drive or do anything hazardous until you know how they work for you.
Stress management techniques that decrease the stress response may be helpful in decreasing stress. Interventions aimed at preventing stress, such as time management, won't help, but interventions that relax you, such as self-hypnosis and progressive muscle relaxation, might. Deep, slow breathing in and out helps diminish stress and anxiety and relaxes you.
Alternative therapies are very helpful with stress and anxiety. St. John's Wort, chamomile, and lavender decrease anxiety when taken as an herbal preparation, such as a tea. The scent of lavender is especially soothing and relaxing, too.
Acupuncture is helpful in managing stress and anxiety and is frequently used with Chinese herbal anti-anxiety preparations. Massage and color therapy are other alternative methods that can reduce stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety go together, and they reinforce each other, but by treating stress or anxiety, you may be able to stop the cycle and relax.
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