Stress & AnxietyNearly all of us have experienced some stress and anxiety in our lives; but with our modern, fast-paced, wireless-connected society, it has become a 21st century epidemic. 

Most people often report feeling stressed when an overload of competing demands are encountered – often with accompanying time constraints. Sometimes the feeling of being stressed can be triggered by an especially upsetting event or a series of events that makes you feel nervous, frustrated, pressured, tense, strained, overwhelmed, or frightened.

Anxiety is a more general feeling of fear, worry, or unease. It can be a reaction to stress, or a post stress reaction (post traumatic stress disorder).  It can also sometimes occur in people cannot identify specific stresses in their life – but instead suffer from general situational discomfort (e.g. social anxiety, phobias).    

Stress and anxiety are not always negative, they can sometimes help motivate one to overcome obstacles. Examples of everyday stress and anxiety invoking events include worrying about finding or keeping a job, feeling nervous about being able to complete a task well or on time, relationship problems or issues —  however, if stress and anxiety begin interfering with your daily life, or if it’s starting to impact your health or sense of happiness or well-being, it may indicate a more serious situation that should be addressed.

If you are experiencing constant or irrational fears, incessant worrying or nervousness, or moderate to severe stress or anxiety to the point where it’s starting to impact your life in a negative way, it may be time to seek help.

Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety

StressStress and anxiety can produce both physical and psychological symptoms — however it should be noted that everyone experiences stress and anxiety differently.

Common physical symptoms can include:

  • physical ailments such as stomach issues or chest tightness or pain
  • rapid breathing or heart flutter
  • muscle tension or headaches
  • shaking or trembling
  • fatigue and/or sleep changes/disruption
  • appetite changes

Stress and anxiety can cause mental or emotional symptoms in addition to physical ones. These can include:

  • feelings of impending doom
  • panic or nervousness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irrational anger
  • depression
  • restlessness

People who have stress and anxiety over long periods of time may experience worsening health issues , especially related to heart health, blood pressure, and/or depression.

Feelings of stress and anxiety tend to get worse if they aren’t dealt with — and they are easier to treat before your symptoms escalate. It’s important to seek help when you first notice that your feelings are not clearing up on their own, are worsening, or are starting to affect your quality of life. If you feel like you may be suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety that is starting to impact your life in a negative way, I invite you to contact us to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

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Glenn Dale, MD / McLean, VA / Internet

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