Embrace Anxiety and Stress

mental health awareness
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Embrace Anxiety and Stress

I was asked to do a little research on a few issues that, while common, seem to lessen the quality of life for many people. In doing so, I have realized how common afflictions can alter the enjoyment of a person’s life to great extremes, without apparent cause or warning. 

Over the course of my writing and teaching career, I have spoken to so many people who suffer from anxiety and stress. What has always concerned me is the manner in which most people view their own stress levels. 

Anxiety and stress are quite normal in human existence. They are simply an everyday part of human life. Personally, I liken anxiety to fear. During many years of studying Eastern philosophy, I learned to appreciate fear and befriend it. It keeps us alert by making us always aware of our surroundings. It allows us to proceed with caution when necessary. It enables us to avoid conflict in life. 

Despite my acceptance of anxiety and stress as normalcy, I do understand how these factors frequently exacerbate in some people to the point where they become overwhelming. When this occurs, the results can be startling. Productivity levels decrease tremendously, and the quality of life appears to diminish. 

Many people who suffer from extreme anxiety and stress are unable to pinpoint any identifiable reasons for their feelings. The result can be sleeplessness, muscle tension, restlessness, irritability, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and numerous other symptoms that seem unconquerable. 

My research reveals that one of the most common sources of anxiety is work- related or task-related stress. People simply take on more than they can handle. In short, they have not learned to say, “NO.” There is nothing wrong with deciding not to take on new tasks until you are ready. Even in the new world of multi-tasking in which we live, it is far better to handle one or two projects well than it is to attempt several projects and perform poorly. The latter tends to increase anxiety and does not help anyone.

Saying “no” need not be a big deal. It is unnecessary to be rude. A straightforward statement that you are tackling too many problems at the moment is all it takes to make a person understand your situation. Most people appreciate your honesty. 

And best of all, it dramatically reduces stress and anxiety levels.

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Comments

  1. I agree its good to be able to say "NO" some times. Take care JJ, dee

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  2. Dee: I agree. I do say yes quite often, but I also know when to say no. It works.

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  3. JJ, I love what you've said here. Something else that aids in reducing stress and increasing quality of life is to ask for help when you need it too. A person can only handle what they can handle.
    Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  4. I get anxiety a lot. Mine comes in the form of breathlessness - its irritating to say the least. And it comes for no reason - while I'm watching a movie or blogging - relaxing basically. I'm getting it more right now as I'm withdrawing from meds and its taking its toll.

    Thanks for suggesting this post for Monday Madness linky. IT would be great if you could link this up at my linky

    I've emailed you about how to do so - hope it helps.

    Shah .X

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  5. For amost eight straight years, I worked tirelessly for the Southern Arizona Arts Guild, and since I am a founder, of course I wanted it to succeed. Now that it has, I am ready to give up the stress and anxiety, so I have been saying "No." But what do you say to people who won't take no for an answer? I really need a break!!

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  6. I suffer from anxiety and depression and my life is super stressfulat times. So, I totally agreed with your research. I wish there was a magic pill that would instantly lift your spirits or moods and take all anxieties away. But alas, there is none. Nice thought though.

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  7. Miriam: So true. So many of us never ask for help. I am guilty of that myself.

    shah: I will definitely link up for you.

    Judie: I do not suffer from anxiety or stress, so I make sure people understand that when I say, "No," I mean, "No." Maybe that's why I don't get stressed.

    Yvonne: I have been a lifetime martial artist, so I have learned to focus my mind on singular actions. I can block out anything and concentrate only on things of my choosing. It takes practice. Arts like Yoga and Tai Chi work well too, and are not as physically demanding. However, I also do many simple things that anyone can do. For example, smile at people, pet dogs, help elderly people cross the street, or anything else that makes me happy. Then, I don't have time for anxiety. It's a lifestyle. That's what works for me (my magic pill).

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  8. Solid post, J. Inspires me to remain cognizant of others.

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  9. Suze: I try to remember that myself. Blogging always jogs my memory.

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  10. It's true that many people (myself included) have a hard time saying no and this does contribute to anxiety. I'm working on it :)

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  11. KB: You are not alone. Also, I knew it was you. I figured anyone named Whitesnake could say, "NO"!

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  12. For some anxiety is an unwelcome, unwanted companion in their life that unfortunately comes from an organic cause within the brain and can be extremely difficult to control. For others anxiety can be a state of mind that one could possibly learn to think their way out of with guidence & the power of positive thought.
    Learning to be present in every moment is a very effective way of learning to alleviate what stresses us & you JJ have learned how to do that so very well.
    Some stressors in a persons life are there always, like caring for others whom are sick, frail or disabled and learning this strategy is a saving grace, I know because I'm one of these people. I just make a concious decision to deal with one moment at a time.
    Saying NO!! Is also exremly helpful.

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  13. Katherine: There is no doubt that for some people stress results from organic causes. I am really speaking of the self-induced stress that many people lay on themselves.

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