How To Relieve Stress & Anxiety
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is how your body responds naturally to stress. It’s a feeling of apprehension or fear about what you think will come next. Examples could be your first day of school, having a job interview over Zoom, or making a presentation at work. All of these can make most people feel a tinge of fear and nervousness. Occasional anxiety is normal, but frequent symptoms interfering with daily life could indicate a bigger mental problem.
What is stress?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.”
Symptoms of stress & anxiety
Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand, sometimes overlap ping, or one causing the other. The most common symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, tense, or restless
- A premonition of danger, doom, or panic
- Having a fast heart rate
- Breathing fast, also called hyperventilation
- Sweating, trembling, or constantly feeling tired or weak
- Problems concentrating or thinking; preoccupied only by your present worry
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Problems remembering
- Frequent pains and aches
- Low energy; trouble focusing
- Problems with sexual intimacy
- Stiff limbs or jaw
- An upset stomach
Many people with stress and anxiety try and treat the symptoms with store-bought or natural remedies or medicine.
Health problems related to stress
If left untreated, stress can result in serious physical and mental health issues, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Anxiety or depression, which may be treatable with ketamine
- Skin irritations like acne or eczema
- Menstrual pain
If you already have health problems, chronic stress can make them worse.
Common causes of stress & anxiety
Stress and anxiety are caused by things we don’t fully understand, like a medical condition including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, substance abuse and withdrawal symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic pain. It’s best to see a doctor or therapist to uncover a possible cause and talk about the best therapy.
How to relieve stress & anxiety
Besides psychotherapy or medicine like ketamine, you can try any of the following to lessen the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- Try relaxation techniques, like breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, tai chi, and muscle relaxation. Therapy information is available online, through smartphone apps, and at your local gym or community centers.
- Take care of your mind and body each day. Eating healthy, exercise, and seven to nine hours of sleep will help your body deal with stress much better.
- Stay positive and be grateful, acknowledging the better parts of your life or day.
- Realize that you can’t control everything that happens; accept that and stop worrying about situations you can’t change.
- It’s okay to say “no” to more responsibilities when you are too stressed or busy.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm and provide emotional support and offer help with practical things – a friend, family member, neighbor, work colleague.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosing stress and anxiety involves a physical examination and, sometimes, a mental evaluation to investigate possible causes. There could be an illness, medical condition, or other mental illness at play. Once your condition is diagnosed, a doctor or therapist will create a treatment plan which depends on factors like health, age, and gender. Psychotherapy has long been the go-to option, but dietary and nutritional supplements (kava chamomile, lavender) and medicine like ketamine may relieve symptoms.
Ketamine as therapy
One question to ask your doctor: “Is ketamine a real option?” It could be. Some mental health conditions like treatment-resistant depression are treatable with ketamine, and the medicine has been prescribed for other mental health and chronic pain conditions which don’t respond to other therapy. The medicine takes effect quickly, and it often controls symptoms for a few weeks before requiring another dose. Ketamine is only available from your doctor or a licensed clinic.
Stress and anxiety should never be ignored. The symptoms are different for everyone but can overlap and be signs of a more serious mental or physical illness. If you feel overwhelmed by either, call or doctor or therapist to get diagnosed and learn about treatment options, like ketamine or psychotherapy.