Blog Post

03 July 2017

What is the Correlation Between Anxiety and Stress?

We’ve all been stressed, and we’ve all been anxious, but is there a deeper correlation between the two states of being? At Family Psychiatry of North Jersey, we fully understand the connection of anxiety and stress and how together or separate they can impact your well-being. Through individualized care, our friendly professionals can help you understand and overcome your anxiety and stress.

Occasional anxiety is just a regular part of life, but when occasional becomes frequent or all consuming, then there’s a problem. For some, anxiety goes beyond a temporary worry or fear; it becomes an emotional state of being that affects every aspect of their lives. Stress is also a natural part of life, but like anxiety, stress can sometimes overtake every day life and turn every outing into a strenuous undertaking. Chronic stress can lead to further health conditions such as headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep.

So how do stress and anxiety relate to each other? Traditionally, stress can exacerbate anxiety and anxiety can bring on stress. Being anxious is stressful for the body. Whereas if you are already anxious, stress can make your anxiety much worse. Confused? That’s ok – put simply both stress and anxiety are our bodies natural reaction to our fight or flight inclinations. As mentioned above, stress is the result of demands placed on the body whereas stress is the result of an emotional trial.

Living With Anxiety and Stress

Triggers

In order to begin treating and coping with your anxiety and stress, you must first find your triggers. Triggers can be emotional, physical, and environmental. By identifying your triggers, we can begin craft to a custom treatment plan that will help you overcome your anxiety and stress. Below are some common anxiety and stress triggers.

Emotional

  • Child performing poorly in school
  • Concerns about money: trying to save for a wedding, higher education, or big life expense
  • Meeting new people
  • Upcoming life events: Weddings, Graduation, Moving, etc.
  • Being alone
  • Large work/project deadlines

Physical

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Pain
  • Pregnancy

Environmental

  • Starting a new job
  • Moving
  • Severe weather
  • Home renovations
  • Traveling
  • Going somewhere new
  • Crowds

Symptoms

Stress can make your anxiety much worse, so it is important to be able to identify and relieve the symptoms of stress. The American Institute of Stress has compiled an all-inclusive list of the symptoms of stress, we have listed the most common below.

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting, grinding teeth
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Lightheadedness, faintness, dizziness
  • Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
  • Frequent blushing, sweating
  • Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  • Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  • Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
  • Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
  • Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing
  • Frequent urination
  • Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
  • Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
  • Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Social withdrawal and isolation

Solutions

There are numerous solutions for handling stress, from simple lifestyle adjustments to large changes. Below are some simple ways to deal with your stress and anxiety. Finding a good mix of stress coping mechanisms is essential for your well-being and for managing your anxiety. Sometimes coping mechanisms aren’t enough. When that day comes, Family Psychiatry of North Jersey is here to help.

  1. Stop and take five

Take a moment to remove yourself from stressful situations. Remove yourself from the immediate area and take a few minutes from yourself. Go for a walk, take a coffee break, or just get up and stretch your legs. Whatever you decide to do, tune your mind away from the situation and give yourself time to reset.

  1. Create a schedule

Have a huge work deadline approaching that you are anxious about? Create a schedule and budget time every day to work on the project. The schedule will help you stay on track and avoid the stress associated with rushing to finish the job on time.

  1. Stay active

It’s important to take time every day to get some exercise. If running isn’t your thing that’s perfectly fine. Try other forms of exercise such as dancing, yoga, swimming, tennis, walking, or anything else that will get you up and moving.  

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet

The food we eat significantly affects our mood and mental outlook. Try not to skip any meals and try to keep your diet well balanced between proteins, fruits, grains, and vegetables. Staying hydrated is another important aspect of a well-balanced diet. Keep a water bottle by your desk and drink throughout the day.

  1. Count to 10

If you’re in an overwhelming situation or are confronted by one of your triggers, try to close your eyes and count to 10 while taking deep breaths.

  1. Budget decompression time

Make sure that you are budgeting enough time into your day for some good decompression time. Use this time to do some yoga, listen to music, watch your favorite tv show, or whatever activity is enjoyable to you.

  1. Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption

Caffeine and alcohol can be a major trigger for anxiety and stress. Try to limit your consumption if possible. Alternate coffee with tea or water during the day and stay hydrated. Also, try to avoid at least two hours before bed.

  1. Get enough sleep

Adults need at least eight hours of sleep each night. Be sure that you are scheduling enough time for sleeping. It is recommended that you give yourself at least thirty minutes of screen-free time before sleep. Before heading to bed, turn off the electronics and lights and try to drift off naturally.

Get The Help Family Psychiatry of North Jersey

From our convenient location in North Jersey to our friendly staff we have everything needed to treat your anxiety and stress at Family Psychiatry of North Jersey. If you’re ready to live your life free of anxiety and stress, then come see us any day of the week between 9 am – 7 pm. We look forward to helping you create a custom treatment plan that will work with your busy schedule.