Stress and Anxiety are extremely common in today’s society. Most individuals experience stress on a daily basis and have experienced anxiety at least once over their lifetime.
The difference between Stress and Anxiety.
Stress and anxiety are two terms that are commonly linked, however they are different.
Stress is your body’s reaction to a situation that requires a mental, physical or emotional response. Stress is typically a response of a negative adjustment or change, however it can be the response to a positive change too. It is a reaction to something that is happening and relevant to the present. Long term stress raises cortisol levels and can lead to many conditions including anxiety.
Anxiety is a mental illness that causes nervousness, fear and worry. It can cause an interference with daily activities. Anxiety is a worry or fear about something that may occur in the future and although it is sometimes an appropriate response it is often occurring due to a hypothetical situation. There are several different types of anxiety, however they all have similar signs and symptoms including:
- Feeling nervous
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling powerless
- Panic attacks
- Having an increased heart rate
- A feeling of tightness in the chest
- Sweating, trembling and feeling weak
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Trouble concentrating or focusing on anything else.
Anxiety can be caused by many reasons including:
- Long term stress that is not coped well with
- Dietary & nutrient deficient reasons
- Other mental health disorders
- Drug abuse or withdrawal
- A thyroid imbalance
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Premenstrual syndrome
Anxiety and stress both put your body into ‘fight or flight’ mode, and are constantly stimulating your nervous system and adrenals.
Tips to calm your nervous system and cope with stress and anxiety.
Massage therapy is great tool to help you to relax and unwind, it has many benefits for your body and mind. Massage therapy will help to support your nervous system and musculoskeletal system
A warm bath with some Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulphate) can assist your body to relax and de-stress. The magnesium will also support your nervous system and help with sleep.
Essential oils can be a huge help to calm the nervous system. Oils such as Lavender and Juniper are fantastic for stress and fatigue. They can be burnt around the house, used topically on the temples, or a few drops can be added to a warm bath.
Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, meditation and deep breathing are a fantastic way to clear your mind and see the bigger picture: you are alive, you live in a beautiful place, have a roof over your head and have family for love and support.
Listening to peaceful music & singing has been proven to help with stress, it has a calming effect on your nervous system and is a very underutilised tool.
Try to avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, sugars and artificial sweeteners as these only further stimulate the nervous system and the adrenals.
Every treatment for anxiety should be different as it may be caused by something different. There are many different types of herbal supplements, dietary and lifestyle interventions, nutritional supplements and flower essences that can be used to support the nervous system, stress and anxiety, and often completely correct the condition.
get results, with simple easy to follow nutrition and lifestyle advice!
Naturopath, Nutritionist & Medical Herbalist
Shani is our highly qualified and passionate Naturopath located in Mooloolaba. A member of the Complimentary Medicine Association of Australia, Shani has been successful in treating many conditions, both physical and emotional. Supporting her patients to create and maintain a balanced & healthy lifestyle.
Shani has experience is all aspects of Naturopathy with a special interest in:
- Stress Management
- Emotional Imbalances
- Poor Sleep patterns
- Immune Support & Correction
- Allergies & Diet