Have you lately felt overwhelming pangs of anxiety attacks? Do you feel drained and lack interest in what you usually do? The reason might be stress or else anxiety. As per researchers, stress levels have risen for a decade compared to the 1990s with the percentage increasing with the pandemic.
It has also led to a rise in the cases of anxiety. It is a condition that has affected a wide range of people worldwide. However, not many can understand if they are suffering from stress or anxiety unless it reaches the tandem level.
Here we run you through the entire article elaborating on stress, the difference between stress and anxiety disorder, and providing accurate stress management.
What is Stress? Symptoms and Causes
Stress is defined as outbursts or the body’s reaction to emotional, physical or mental pressure. In short, the body’s response to an increasing demand triggers your brain’s flight or fight mode.
However, the symptoms may vary from person to person. These can further be divided into short-term and long-term signs. In addition, stress tends to impact a person’s physical and mental health, which can eventually lead to a severe toll on health.
Are you wondering if you are currently suffering from stress? So, let us run through some symptoms, which include:
- Sudden mood changes
- Sweaty palms
- Digestive issues
- Diarrhea and periodic pangs of anxiety
- Decrease in immunity
- Low levels of energy
- Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
- Anxiety fevers
- Racing heartbeat
Common causes of stress
Stress has no one particular cause. It varies from work-related stress, parenting, economic pressure, relationship stress etc. In short, anything that will throw your life into discomfort and inconvenience.
- The most typical cause of stress is the body’s response to the perceived danger or threat triggering the flight or fight response
- The release of adrenaline and cortisol, which are considered stress hormone, add to the menace
- Cortisol leads to a racing heartbeat, slowed digestion, and reduces the flow of blood to major muscles of the body
- The change in the autonomic nervous functions, thereby leaving the body disheveled.
However, while the body tends to return to normal functioning after it relaxes, it can damage the body in chronic cases.
What is Anxiety: Symptoms and Causes
Anxiety is a part of stress. It is the body’s typical reaction to stress, which can be a feeling of apprehension or fear about an unknown outcome. A person is said to suffer from anxiety disorder if they have feelings of extreme stress or anxiety-related symptoms of a long duration at a stretch.
Anxiety symptoms in a gist
Let us run through a few instances before understanding what anxiety is:
- It is the first day of school or college, and you feel pangs in your stomach
- You are to give a speech in front of the audience, and your palms turn sweaty
- You are waiting for your exam results, and you spend sleepless nights
Well, the above examples make you feel anxious. However, these intensities never interfere with your mundane life. However, if you have been feeling the symptoms for a long duration, you are suffering from an anxiety disorder.
As per American Psychiatric Association, women tend to suffer more than men with anxiety disorder.
Let us run you through chronic anxiety symptoms, which are as follows:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble concentrating and blurriness
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Sweating and dizzy feeling
- Chills and hot flashes
- Numbness or fear
Anxiety symptoms tend to differ for each person, and people may confuse panic attacks with anxiety. However, they are not the same.
Common causes of anxiety
There are multiple causes of anxiety which are often a combination of genetic and environmental factors and brain chemistry. Besides, research highlights how the brain is a common cause of triggering anxiety.
- Social Anxiety: The fear of facing social situations or crowds. Besides, the extreme fear of getting judged is reasoned for social anxiety.
- Illness-related anxiety – Also known as Hypochondria, the state of anxiety caused for health
- Phobia: An unknown fear of a situation, object or any activity
- Panic Attacks: Unexpected episodes of panic attacks or fear of some unknown outcome
- Separation triggered anxiety: homesickness or being separated from someone can lead to separation anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress: Also known as PTSD, it is caused after a traumatic event.
Difference between Stress and Anxiety
Let us look at the broad difference between stress and what is anxiety
- It is a short term while anxiety continuous to linger for months together
- A recognised threat causes it
- It can lead to episodes of irritability, anger, mood swings
- Individuals suffering from stress can feel lonely and dizzy
- Sudden sadness and feeling of overwhelmingness
- Feeling of Restlessness
- The thought of an unknown fear grappling you
- Nervousness and feeling of dreadfulness
- Feeling tensed and finding it difficult to breathe
7 Best Foods To Reduce Stress And Anxiety!
Life is a roller coaster ride of stress. From work to family, relationships to maintaining finances, the juggling to manage everything can overwhelm you. However, there is some magic food that can relieve your stress naturally. So, if you feel frustrated with meeting daily demands, we provide the best food to reduce stress and anxiety.
Is everyday stress driving you nuts? The answer is probably in nuts like almonds, cashews, etc., which are rich magnesium sources. These help in relieving stress and balance the low level of magnesium. If you are feeling headaches because of a low level of magnesium leading to anxiety, get snacking on nuts and get stress free.
Nobody can control binging on chocolates. However, dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids that can instantly boost your mood. Do you know dark chocolates are one of the most acceptable sources of serotonin, also called the feel-good hormone, that can immediately reduce stress and make you happy?
Curd is a rich source of reducing high-stress levels. It contains good bacteria, also known as probiotics, that help reduce the insula’s activity, thereby regulating emotions. Thus, if you are stressed, have a cup of yogurt and minimize your stress.
An Apple a Day can keep a Doctor Away! However, do you know a carrot a day can release tension from the jaw and relieve you from the spirals of stress in addition to providing a good amount of Vitamin A.
Who is not fond of the enriching flavors of garlic in your food. Well, they are also a top food for reducing stress levels too. As per research, the richness of sulfur increases the overall level of glutathione, a form of antioxidant. The anti-oxidant proves as a line of defense against coping with stress.
High carb diet helps in producing serotonin in the body. Just imagine how you feel about eating a bowl of pasta? Pleasant right? Granolas are one of the finest sources of complex carbs that help reduce stress. On the other hand, simple carbs such as white rice and soda spike the blood sugar level, making you feel low on energy.
So next time you feel stressed, grab your granola-rich diet and relieve stress.
Salmon is one of the rich sources of omega-3 fats that help reduce cortisol levels. Besides, the cortisol hormone is released when in stress, leading to a higher level of inflammation in the body. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory that stops the production of cortisol. Thus, a salmon can seldom lead to stress in you.
When to see a doctor for Stress and Anxiety?
- Are your panic attacks and stress interfering with your daily activities?
- Are you constantly stressing about something and finding it out of your hands to control?
- Are you finding any change in your sleeping and eating patterns
- Are you facing constant episodes of headache, pain and feeling sick?
- Do increased heart rate and anxiety make you feel extremely overwhelmed?
Herein, consulting a psychiatrist is recommended to know the cause and nip it in the bud. If you have any doubts with how should decide whether you should see a psychologist or psychiatrist first?, its completely according to your symptoms and the type of issue you are facing.
The best Mental health professionals will help you detect the cause of stress and provide natural alternatives to calm your anxiety. They may suggest techniques like meditation and changing eating patterns and recommend medications to reduce your stress and have a much more relaxed and happier life.
Accurate stress management is an integral part of coping with constant triggers of anxiety and stress-related issues. Taking professional help and consulting with a psychiatrist/psychologist can help you come to terms with your Psychiatry department of Allevia Medical Center Qatar, which houses the best psychiatrist in Qatar who assists through counseling, therapies and understanding the root cause of the stress.
Are you feeling pangs of stress? Book your appointment today and choose the path of healthy living.