How Stress Affects Your Daily Life and Ways to Manage Symptoms
It’s a fact that every human experiences stress from time to time. It’s a natural response to outside stimuli. Worrying about an upcoming medical test, a loved one in trouble or wondering how you’re going to meet financial obligations are all common concerns that can trigger stress. These situations can bring on feelings of stress, but other times there’s no explanation and stress can trigger a myriad of symptoms that can make life and certain situations difficult.
Here are a few ways that stress can affect your daily living and some tools for coping with it:
Common Signs of Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety
When your mind experiences thoughts of stress, your central nervous is the first to kick in. The response is a release of hormones to help you cope and get through the situation. Your body will first respond by trying to calm itself and move through the feelings. If not, you may experience some unsettling symptoms such as:
- Racing heart or palpitations
- Increased blood pressure
- Chest tightness or difficulty breathing
- Pain in the chest or arms
- Stomach upset or vomiting
- Shaking or muscle twitching
- Feelings of uncertainty and dread
- Dizziness or feeling off-balance
Avoiding certain sweat triggers seems like the natural way to keep from breaking out into a pool of embarrassing sweat, although sometimes through your best efforts, you may still be left dealing with the problem. And because everyone experiences stress and anxiety differently, you have to take the time to find the root cause. But if you’re suddenly experiencing profuse sweating, chest pain, racing heart or any other symptoms of anxiety, its best to get it checked out right away by a medical professional. This will rule out an emergency medical condition.
What’s the Root Cause of Stress?
Stress is typically caused by stimuli from a situation that evokes stress on you. This type of stress can be remedied by working through the situation and practicing some deep breathing exercises. Typically once the situation has passed, your stress levels will go down and you can proceed normally with the rest of your day. For some people, there are no triggers for stress and it’s mainly caused by an underlying medical problem such as:
- Generalized anxiety or panic disorder
- Past traumatic event
- Hormonal imbalance
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
If you have any of these problems or any type of medical condition that alters your lifestyle, it can trigger stress even when you are in a calm state. For example, someone who’s experienced a traumatic event in the past can be prone to having panic attacks. This is a long-term concern until you are able to get help for your past issues through cognitive and behavioral therapy. From there, you may be prescribed specific medications to help balance out your mood and ongoing therapy to help keep stress levels down. For other medical conditions, your doctor may also recommend getting symptoms under control so that you can more easily cope with stressful situations.
When Stress Goes Too Far
For some people, stress can overtake their lives. It can be more than just a passing feeling that happens on occasion. When it is so severe that you feel like you’re losing control, or you need to go to the hospital emergency room every time your heart starts to race, it can be troubling. It can lead to severe isolation that can develop into a medical condition called agoraphobia—a fear of leaving your safe zone and entering a place or situation that could invoke panic or anxiety. This can be crippling and make it impossible to work or even venture out of the house on your own. In some cases, it can exasperate underlying medical problems like hypertension. If you can’t leave the house to seek medical treatment, your conditions can get worse. Working with a psychotherapist that you trust as well as your regular medical doctor to get on the right medication combination can help you deal with anxiety and stress.
Getting Control Over Out of Control Stress
Despite your best efforts, sometimes stress can get out of control easily. Problems can pile up or resurface when you’re already feeling unwell. In some cases, medications to treat anxiety or other health conditions can also trigger new symptoms, this can make stress levels rise. If things are out of control, it’s time to get help. In addition to seeing a therapist, lifestyle changes like eating better and exercising to lose weight may help. Engaging in lifting weights, running or brisk walking can tackle feelings of stress. You may also want to practice yoga or meditation to help calm your mind.
There are several ways to get your stress in check. Remember that you’re not alone. Reaching out for help is the first step to finding the best solution for your stress and anxiety.