Any situation that makes you feel angry, frustrated, or anxious will create stress. Since these are all emotional states, every individual will have a unique response to each situation. What gives you stress might have no effect on the next person. Anxiety is the emotional response to anything that creates fear or apprehension. Sometimes the cause of this fear is not identifiable and this increases the stress levels. Stress is actually a system booster as it causes people to face challenges and become more productive. However, that is only true when stress is supplied in low quantities. The body and mind can only handle so much and that is why excessive or consistent stress or a strong reaction to high stress is not good.
Constant stress will lead to anxiety disorders that often cause the person to resort to alcohol or other drugs that in turn lead to physical and psychological disorders like depression, heart disease, hypertension, and so on. Sometimes stress is also caused by other physical disorders like thyroid gland malfunction, low blood sugar, cardiac arrest and so on. Psychological conditions of depression and grief also increase stress. Anxiety and stress are interrelated. Each will magnify the other endlessly until something is done to break the cycle.
When anxiety and stress hit a certain level their effects will begin manifesting as physical symptoms of something going “wrong” with the body. During a panic attack the victim will exhibit symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, twitching, sweating, nausea, abdominal pains, palpitations, dizziness, hyperventilation, insomnia, and fatigue. Note that all these symptoms will not show up together or in every attack. Anxiety disorders are classified as psychiatric conditions like general anxiety disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Certain prescription and recreational drugs also increase anxiety and stress either as side effects or as withdrawal symptoms. These include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, decongestants, cold medicines, antidepressants, amphetamines, cocaine, diet pills, and thyroid medications.
Diets that are not providing the body with minimum quantity of essential nutrients will also elevate anxiety and stress. Deficiency in magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B-12 all contributes to anxiety and stress.
Performance anxiety is associated to some situations like job interviews, major examinations, or any kind of activity where results are very important and confidence is lacking. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs when the individual goes through a personal (assault, near death experience) or general trauma (like war or some natural disaster).
In order to lower anxiety and stress it is first important to identify the exact source that is contributing to their development. However, this is not so easy because in most cases there is no identifiable cause. A good way is to quiz yourself on your daily habits in the following manner.
* Are you always worrying? If yes, then what about? List all possible answers.
* Are you a compulsive thinker? Do you ever relax mentally? What do you think about?
* Is there anything (place, person, climate, situation) that always makes you feel depressed or sad?
Most of the time an open discussion with a trusted friend or relative will provide relief from anxiety and stress.
Combine that with a good diet, an exercise plan, regular hours, and meditation and relaxation techniques for complete freedom from anxiety and stress.