3 MIN READ | Mental Health

Howard Diamond

Understanding External and Internal Stress and Anxiety That We Experience Daily

Cite This
Howard Diamond, (2022, April 26). Understanding External and Internal Stress and Anxiety That We Experience Daily. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/external-internal-stress-anxiety/
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether we want to admit this or not, everyone in our world experiences stress in our daily life. Yes, me too! Frequently we have intense, excessive plus persistent worry and fear about our situations. When these constant, repeated feelings of stress occur, it might be anxiety.

Often, many sudden feelings of intense anxiety, fear, or terror that reach a peak in several minutes will probably be called panic. In my mid-twenties, my conflicting emotions and anxieties reached epic proportions.

When these feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily living activities or are difficult to control or not in proportion to the actual danger, it might be good to seek a mental health professional. Panic is a sudden sensation of fear that is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking.

This is what occurred to me. Often in many situations and for others, this is replaced with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and frantic agitation. One can avoid places, situations or people to prevent these feelings. Symptoms of panic can often manifest as early as childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood. 

My panic attacks started when I was 22. These feelings of panic or having panic attacks often occurred and kept me within a mile and a half from home. According to my mother, I have dealt with various types of anxiety since before  I was born. Before I continue, my brother has made this comment since we were kids. Before being birth, I was comfortable inside of mom, so when it was time to be born, I was comfortable there; I became anxious to leave and enter my first new situation.

Consequently, I was about two to three weeks late. Even today, I get panicky when new circumstances arise, but I try to avail myself of the tools that I have learned and applied for many years. Soon after, it does get easier; however, I still get nervous. Being anxious is okay. Over time, I have accepted this. How I deal with my feelings of panic and or anxiety is what helps me get through. 

There are many differences between external and internal stress and how we control the given situation. External stress is when we have little or no control over the issue. Internal stress is when we can alter the way these things are perceived. Neither can be reduced easily, but some techniques can assist in managing each form of stress.

Since external stress is out of our control, we need to find effective ways to neutralise them. Often they can happen in our neighbourhoods or our environment. Easily stated that the range is from worldwide events to a car accidents. Everyone gets external stress daily. A good and effective method for all of us to reduce any of our external is changing how we react to these stressors.

Examples of external stress include: 

  • A busy schedule
  • Financial troubles
  • Work issues
  • Injury or death
  • Family concerns
  • Any unforeseen circumstances 

Each person handles external factors differently and wildly ranges in occurrence and severity. Too many of these stressors can threaten both our physical and mental health. Due to being out of control, external stress must be reacted to in a new and better fashion. Starting with the ways we will conquer many, if not all, of our internal stress, we will make it manageable for external ones.

Internal stress is created by our belief system and method of evaluating ourselves. Internal stress can happen when we have trouble meeting our expectations, goals, and visions. Since we are unique individuals, we deal with internal stress quite exclusively. Perceiving our life related to the world around us can trigger higher stress levels.

Occasionally, our reality does not match our belief system, and their differences can cause inner conflict. Our everyday emotions often lead to developing mental illnesses like forms of anxiety and depression plus detrimental thinking patterns.

Examples of internal stress include:

  • Pessimistic thinking
  • Low self-esteem
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unhealthy and substandard attitudes
  • Needing to be perfect
  • Additional physical and mental health issues

A unique strategy in handling inner stress is to effectively change one’s overall thinking. It might take conversations with friends, lots of journal writing, or any writing, developing interests in the arts or perhaps doing some physical activity routine.

Ultimately, this can help us remould our preconceptions and feel more positive. When we create flexibility and coping strategies while removing internal stressors, we can apply these same skills to eliminate stressors caused by outside and external sources.

Whether stress is ongoing and one’s feelings are deepening to constant sadness, anxiety or depression, one might seek out a therapist. Sometimes, we need to talk with someone else to manage our stress to be our best selves possible. Also, individuals like myself can get assistance by identifying our external and internal cues plus finding a series of techniques to deal with this in better and healthier ways.

Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with searching for aid when stressors are causing problems with our physical and mental health. It does not mean it works for everyone. Hey, it continues to help me and sort out my stress issues.


Howard Diamond is a certified peer specialist in New York.

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