Stress is an increasingly large part of daily life. It can be hard to avoid stressful situations at work or when dealing with your child’s teachers or coaches and you might even find that financial stress has entered the picture along with interpersonal stress.
There is an almost unlimited number of sources for stress in many people’s lives and most of us don’t even realise that we are stressed on a daily basis because we are so used to these conditions being a factor in our daily lives.
We have become accustomed to the ways that stress can impact our daily lives and often are unaware of the actual effects of stress on our health and well-being.
Here are ways stress and anxiety can affect your life:
For many years, insomnia was treated as a stand-alone problem that was more to do with your body not producing enough chemicals to allow you to fall asleep or remain asleep. While this can be a contributing factor to sleeplessness, many people actually struggle with insomnia when they are stressed in their daily life.
It can be hard for your brain to shut off when you have been stressed all day, and anxiety over the events of the coming day or altercations and other negative interactions that took place during the previous day can be the reason that you are not able to sleep.
Poor anger management
If you have not traditionally had a temper, and have suddenly found that you get angry about the smallest things, you might be feeling this way due to stress and anxiety in your life. It can be hard to pinpoint which kinds of emotional regulation struggles are related to stress, but there is a ton of evidence that shows that emotional regulation and anxiety, and stress are closely linked.
If you have been struggling to stop yourself from getting angry about the smallest things in your daily life, you should consider whether you are more stressed than you realise.
Chest pains or headaches
If you have been planning to head to your doctor about unexplained chest pains or severe headaches, you should also discuss with them the possibility that stress is causing your headaches and chest pains or other physical symptoms.
Physical symptoms that do not relate to any known health condition can sometimes be caused by stress or anxiety. These kinds of symptoms will often not respond to other treatments and will require that you address the stress or the source of your anxiety that is causing them.
Some people who are experiencing a lot of stress or anxiety will have a sense that something terrible is about to happen to them for no known reason. There may not be anything going on in their lives that should cause this reaction, but they will go through every day feeling like something horrible is about to happen to them.
Fears that are not linked to anything in your external environment are often caused by stress and anxiety that you are not aware that you are feeling. You might be able to talk yourself out of the fear on some occasions, but for many people, fear that is related to stress will not go away until the stress goes away.
If you are working out and are not losing any weight, you might need to consider more than just your diet and exercise plans. Stress causes us to create more cortisol which allows the body to store fat. This is a survival mechanism that stems from the years that humans spent as hunter-gatherers to allow them to handle difficult times of harsh weather and lack of food.
In today’s reality, you will not need these extra pounds to survive the daily stresses caused by work and social strife, but your body cannot differentiate between the two kinds of needs. Weight gain that you cannot control could be an indication that you are stressed or anxious enough that your body has gone into survival mode.
How to handle stress and anxiety
One of the best ways to handle stress and anxiety in your life is to make sure that you get the help of a medical professional. Whether this is a doctor or a psychiatrist, you should take these signs of stress seriously enough to get therapy to improve your situation and your overall health.
One of the other ways that you can cope with daily stresses is to meditate. This is an effective way to allow your brain to rest and to help your body to have the quiet moments that it needs to stay out of survival mode.
If you can, remove the source of stress from your life. There are many ways to adjust your daily activities and enjoy contact with others to make sure that you get enough peace and quiet to be healthy. Do not allow a stressful situation to run your life or ruin your health if you can control it and make it more manageable.
Having a network of friends and family who are on your side and can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed can also help fend off dangerous levels of stress and anxiety in your life as well.
Stress and anxiety do not have to ruin your life
If you feel like stress and anxiety are taking over your life and making it hard to complete your daily tasks or enjoy your time away from work or school, you should consider getting help to manage this stress. There is no reason to allow stress to overwhelm your daily life and prevent you from being happy and healthy.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, know that you are not alone and that there are many ways to get help managing the negative factors in your life.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.