Stress or Anxiety?

Running late, forgetting a deadline, losing your phone- stress for sure. Worrying constantly about these things happening, feeling out of sorts, always on edge- this is Anxiety.  Our bodies respond physically, emotionally and cognitively when these things happen. The sympathetic nervous system releases stress hormones which lead to a fight, flight, freeze or attend response. This response revs us up to cope with the challenge of the moment. Then the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest system, kicks in to help the body re-balance after the stress surge.

If you constantly experience stress surges, this is like always driving a car in turbo and slamming on the brakes. Too much of this burns up the gas and wears out the brake pads. When the parasympathetic system can no longer do its job the brake pads are worn out- this is Anxiety.

Symptoms of Anxiety include:

-Constant worry, not even knowing what you are worried about

-A sense of doom and gloom, dread, catastrophic “worst case scenario” thinking

-Irritable, agitated, over reacting to situations or stimuli, restlessness

-Gastrointestinal upset, headaches, skin issues, racing heart, feeling dizzy or foggy, tingling in hands, muscle tension, poor sleep, feeling like you have to urinate but not producing much when you go

-Difficulty focusing and concentrating

Ways to manage Anxiety

-Cut back on caffeine, sugar, salt

-Consider mindfulness apps – use 15 minutes a day

-Exercise: take a brisk walk, weight training, dance

-Get some green time and focus on your senses what do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste?

-Manage your thoughts recognize the unhelpful thought, label it, challenge it. It’s just a thought.

STOPP  (Stop, Take a breath, Observe your thoughts, responses and environment, Perspective taking, Proceed and live your best life.

If you are struggling with managing daily stress or are experiencing anxiety and looking to feel better & thrive, please contact me to discuss your needs.

 

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313 Price Place Suite#10
Madison, WI 53705

dogno12.lmft@gmail.com
(608) 231-3300 ext. #227

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