Stress can come from any life event or thought that causes an individual to feel frustrated, angry or nervous, while anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry, or fear. Stress and anxiety is a normal feeling and everyone would feel them at one point in their lives. However, it affects everyone differently and everyone will have different coping mechanisms but some general tips are recommended for stressed and anxious individuals, which will be discussed further later.
Causes of Stress and Anxiety
Some of the causes of major stress and anxiety occur when an individual is faced with need to adapt or change. The following may cause stress and anxiety:
- Starting a new job or school
- Getting married
- Having a child
- Moving to a new home
- Divorce or breaking up with someone
- Too much work or tasks
- Certain medications that include some diet pills, cold remedies, inhaler medicines or thyroid drugs
- Anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc
Signs and Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety does not affect individuals the same way, thus some of these signs and symptoms may be present in one individual but not present in another. Some individuals feel stress and anxiety symptoms in their body which include:
- Headaches and dizziness
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle tightness or pain
- Increase heart rate
- Skipping heartbeats
- Rapid breathing
- Loose stools or need for bowel movement
- Dry mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- Difficulty focusing
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, sometimes coupled with nightmares
- Sexual problems
Complications from Long-term Stress and Anxiety
Long-term stress and anxiety may lead to the following complications:
- Damage organs
- Weaken the immune system
- Diminishes hormone function
- Increases risk for cancer
- Memory loss and concentration problems
- Develop mental health disorders
Management of Stress and Anxiety
In most cases, stress and anxiety can be treated and managed at home. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medications, but it is not advised in some cases. The following steps are generally recommended:
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly and get enough sleep.
- Limit caffeine intake. Avoid alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs.
- Find fun ways to cope with stress by reading a book, listening to music, or getting a massage. Make sure to schedule leisure time at least once a day. This can be done alone or with family and friends.
- Try relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation or tai chi, whichever will best suit you.
Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice or treatment. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis of possible conditions. Seek medical attention when necessary. Understanding symptoms that are commonly present in medical situations may help when taking first aid training. To learn more about to how to manage stress and anxiety, enrol in First Aid Courses with workplace approved Training.
Stress and Anxiety.(2012). Calm Clinic. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://www.calmclinic.com/stress-anxiety
Stress and Anxiety.(2011). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003211.htm