Management of Stress and Anxiety
Do you consider stress and anxiety as potential health risk factors?
If someone was to ask you what is the most common risk factor for most diseases, morbidity, and mortality, would you know what to answer? Believe it or not, obesity, hypertension, and other pathological risk factors are not the greatest risk factor for disease.
Stress and anxiety are the greatest predisposing factors for disease.
So stress management could quite possibly be the most important skills one can acquire to enhance their longevity and health.
The Relation Between Anxiety and Stress
A number of people suffer from high levels of anxiety and do not know the source of their problem.
Anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of negativity and an intense apprehension of impending doom.
Stress and the ineffective management of stress are the number one cause of anxiety disorders. Anxiety and the stress which causes anxiety both have negative effects on an individual's health and sense of well being, psychologically and physiologically.
The psychological aspects of stress and of anxiety include a general feeling of ill health, emotional blunting, general feelings of lethargy and the inability to enjoy pleasurable activities.
People who are under a lot of stress are also at risk of developing depression.
The physical symptoms of stress are almost all mediated by the potentially harmful hormones which are released into the body as a reaction to the perceived threats which cause stress.
It has been found that the threats need only be perceived, and do not actually have to exist in order to cause an explosive release of hormones to mobilize the body for flight or fight.
The problem is that today, these hormones will not help an individual cope with the average stressors they will come in contact with during everyday life like stress on the job and within the household, be it overwork or child rearing.
These stress related hormones include norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol and a number of other regulatory hormones. These hormones will actually lead to the break down of body tissues over time as well as suppression of the immune system, which can increase your risk for disease.
Considering the number of adverse effects caused by stress and anxiety, the question is, what can an individual who suffers from these ailments do to protect their health as well as their emotional well being?
Steps You Can Take
Attempting to manage anxiety can be a cause for increased anxiety in itself, so you should know how to efficiently cope with stress in order to effectively manage it, or it could be a cause for stress in itself.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to deal with stress and anxiety without setting foot in a doctor's office or taking medication. Some of them are outlined below.
- Autogenic Training. Autogenic training is a technique that was developed in Germany a few decades ago which involves progressive relaxation through visualization. It has been found to be one of the most effective techniques for boosting health and managing stress.
- Cognitive Therapy. Cognitive therapy requires a therapist, but essentially is a method of controlling stress and anxiety through training the patient how to more effectively appraise the events that affect their lives. In other words, during cognitive therapy the patient will be taught how to not only think positively, but how to see everything that affects them stressfully in a more productive, and often times positive light.
- Physical Exercise. Exercise is a wonderful way to not only manage stress and anxiety, but it also has positive effects on general health, confidence, mood, and even libido!
- Time Management. One of the most significant causes of stress and the subsequent anxiety is inefficient time management which leaves one feeling rushed and out of control. A great way to counteract these negative aspects of life is by learning effective time management.
- Relaxation Techniques. Relaxation techniques actually include light aerobic exercise, as well as stretching, deep breathing, and yoga. There are also techniques which focus on relaxing each part of the body along with deepening and slowing the breath. These are a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.
If you or someone you love suffers from stress or anxiety, these techniques are an excellent way to make progress towards a long term solution.
Anxiety and stress are some of the key factors which lead to many diseases and loss of well being, and through effective stress and anxiety management you can reap the rewards both physically and psychologically.
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