Stress is a too familiar aspect of our fast paced life. It can be caused by a number of factors from relationships to our working employment, financial constraints, to our physical health and many other stressful issues that come up in our daily lives.
Some stress can be healthy and motivate us to get things done, i.e. the tax return, getting the roof repaired. But when stress gets out of hand we lose intellectual control and begin to display symptoms of anxiety, panic, depression or anger. Our mental and physical health is affected and we lose our ability to enjoy life and our relationships.
Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety:
The nature of anxiety can range from excessive worry about everyday things to a constant feeling of dread. Anxiety can disturb sleep, weaken the immune system and impair mental faculty.
Other symptoms of stress and anxiety can include:
a lowering of the immune system, increase in colds, lack of energy
difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep
Increased irritability, anger, feeling of wanting to be on their own
heightened sensitivity to criticism
loss of concentration, unable to focus
signs of tension such as nail-biting, drinking and smoking more
irrational worrying and panic attacks
tension /stiffness in the neck and shoulders leading to migraine
symptoms of irritable bowel (IBS)
Anxiety, like stress, is a response pattern that results from part of our genetic make-up. Commonly called the “fight or flight response”, it is activated when we perceive we are in danger, or if we expect that something dangerous may be about to happen. This was useful to primitive man to prepare him for attacks from predators and rival tribes. Today, the response misinterprets the constant bombardment of stressful situations and the cumulative result of this is anxiety.
Anxiety is maintained when we think negatively and the more we think in a negative way, the more our brain encourages us to continue that line of thought and we become trapped in a cycle of negative thinking. There are a wide variety of negative thinking errors such as catastrophizing, black or white thinking and negative mind reading to name but a few. These distortions in our thinking can cause a great deal of anxiety resulting in a manifestation of physical symptoms. When we feel anxious and fearful this can have a massive impact on how we behave in life causing us to withdraw and avoid situations.
Mindfulness can help you get back on track
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