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The Downside of Living with Chronic Stress and Anxiety

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Author

Paaez Coleman

We all struggle with stress and anxiety occasionally.

It’s the ever-so-tight knot in your gut, the feeling of cinder blocks resting on your chest, or your sweaty palms and jumbled thoughts that cause you to feel doomed no matter how hard you try.

High-stress situations incite these feelings for a lot of us. This could be working in a fast-paced office environment or being in a challenging relationship with more than its share of drama. 

According to a recent Gallup poll, a staggering 60% of the population suffers from daily stress and worry. 

Many situations in life cause stress and anxiety.

But, for some people, stress and anxiety are constant, even if things are going well. For them, things going well is a sign that something’s about to go wrong. 

Are your thoughts tainted with fear, doubt, and worry? If so, we understand. We also understand it’s a cycle most can’t free themselves from. 

Some write these feelings off without a second thought, but it’s more of a struggle for those suffering from chronic stress and anxiety. It’s become part of their identity, part of the daily routine. However, it’s possible to change with enough determination and practice. 

Recognizing Chronic Stress and Anxiety 

A woman sits alone in frustrationStress and anxiety are different sides of the same coin. These feelings often come and go, but when they stick around, you know there’s a problem. 

They often go hand in hand due to the nature of whatever is causing stress and anxiety. 

Let’s check out some of the most common symptoms for both:

Common Stress Symptoms: 

  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low self-esteem
  • Racing thoughts 
  • Change in appetite
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty concentrating

Common Anxiety Symptoms: 

  • Trembling
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased perspiration
  • Feeling drained or weak
  • Tightness in the chest area
  • Feeling nervous, tense, or antsy
  • Hard time taking breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Feelings of impending doom (something terrible is going to happen)

When our bodies experience stressful situations, hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released and cause some of the above symptoms. 

Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone because the hormones it releases activate the fight or flight response. Although it doesn’t seem like it, it’s the body’s attempt at self-protection. 

What It Means for the Long-Term Picture

When the body continually feels “under attack” from persistent stress and anxiety, it can cause several health issues. This is because cortisol (the stress hormone) also regulates how our body responds to viruses and bacteria in the body. 

When the cortisol output is constant, the body becomes immune to it. It provides less protection from threats against the body, which causes different illnesses. 

Here are some of the long-term effects of chronic stress and anxiety: 

  • Insomnia
  • Skin issues
  • Decreased life span
  • Generalized anxiety 
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Worsen existing health issues
  • Prolonged gastrointestinal issues
  • An increased negative outlook on life

How to Stay in Control 

A group of friends laughingWe’re able to understand ourselves better and figure out how to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety we carry with us from our day to day routines. 

When we’re involved in stressful situations, we know from then on, it’s not the best option for us. This is when we need to employ alternative strategies, like the ones below, to manage stress and anxiety.

Understand Your Body and The Symptoms

When you’re experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety, it can be a troubling experience because it’s unfamiliar territory. Once you’ve experienced the symptoms a few times, take note of how you feel. 

This way, when anxiety creeps in, you’ll be able to identify with the symptoms and know you’re safe. 

Explore Different Calming and Relaxation Techniques

Stress and anxiety have a way of building up—a snowball effect. Once the body reaches a certain level, it can’t take anymore. It would help if you had an outlet to release all of the bottled-up tension resting in the body. 

This is why it’s helpful to explore techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and daily affirmations.

Mindfulness is being aware of how you feel throughout the day. You’re taking note of your thoughts, feelings, and how your body feels. It teaches us to focus on the present moment, which helps alleviate stress or worry tied to future “what-if” feelings. 

Ultimately, it teaches us how to manage stress in the “now.”

Yoga and meditation pair well together. There are many types of yoga you can explore, so try a few and see which type fits your personal needs. 

Daily affirmations will change your life. If you’re not providing yourself a positive pep talk every day, you’re seriously missing out. Affirmations are scientifically proven to be effective due to what’s known as neuroplasticity

This refers to how repeating specific words can help rewire the brain, freeing us from anxious feelings of fear, doubt, and worry. 

Make Exercise Part of Your Regular Routine

We know how hard it is to find the motivation to work out, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while. The thing about working out is that it’s hard to get started, but once you do, you feel good about yourself. 

Exercise produces endorphins in the body, and these endorphins counteract the effects of constant cortisol exertion. According to a recent AADA online poll, 14% of the population use exercise to manage stress, with great success.  

Explore CBD Products 

If you’re not familiar yet, CBD stands for cannabidiol. It works by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. Furthermore, this option works well with any of the methods we’ve already talked about.

This system influences some of the body’s primary functions, such as the nervous system, sleep, mood, memory, concentration, focus, and a few others. 

The best thing about CBD is the vast product selection. You can explore options such as CBD tincture oils, vape pens, gummies, capsules, and much more. 

It’s easy to carry most of these products to work, school, or social events, and they can be delivered discreetly to your doorstep. 

When It’s All Said and Done…

If it’s not managed correctly, stress and anxiety can take over your life and leave you feeling hopeless and exhausted. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can—and will—prevail. 

Remember, you aren’t alone. 

Millions of people worldwide share this struggle and find ways to free themselves from the cycles of stress, worry, and anxiety. 

It’s time to take back control. 

Ready to leave worry, doubt, and fear behind?
Check out our selection of CBD products and find relief today!

DID YOU KNOW?

Chronic stress and anxiety can have significant effects on your physical health—even affecting your life expectancy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Meditation is one of the oldest natural forms of anxiety relief?

 

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