Although many people use the words stress and anxiety interchangeably, they are actually two separate conditions. Stress is a reaction to a stimulus, either external or internal. You may feel stress because you are frustrated with something (like waiting in line behind a slow person) or when you worry that you won't meet expectations (such as missing a deadline at work). Anxiety, on the other hand, is a sense of fear and nervousness or even dread. It can be brought on by negative expectations and thoughts, or as a reaction to stress. You may experience feelings of anxiety virtually all of the time and not know why, or your feelings may be a reaction to something you are nervous about, like an upcoming test.
Abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain may cause generalized anxiety. Some research indicates that anxiety can be brought on genetically. In addition, anxiety can stem from environmental conditions, as when the child of a parent who is often anxious becomes an anxious person by observing the parent. But very often the core cause of anxiety is simply the thoughts that a person is thinking! Stress and anxiety are subjective conditions.
Different people may feel stressed about different situations, and different people may respond to their anxiousness in extremely different ways. Symptoms of anxiety can range from the mild, such as tense muscles and sweaty hands, to the severe, such as irregular heartbeat, anxiety attacks, and vomiting. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety once in awhile.
We have all felt the dry mouth and "butterflies in the stomach" before a public speaking engagement or a test. But when does it become harmful to your health? Studies have shown that chronic anxiety can lead to sleep disorders, high blood pressure, depression, and relationship problems For sufferers of chronic untreated anxiety, there may be negative health consequences that have yet to be fully examined. Many studies have found a link between generalized anxiety disorder and a number of serious health conditions including heart disease, respiratory illness, arthritis, cancer, and thyroid disease. Chronically anxious people may even be more likely to suffer a fatal cardiac attack. If you suffer from what seems like a disproportionately high amount of anxiety relative to the circumstances, or if you feel anxious nearly every day, you may actually have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are chronic conditions characterized by one's inability to function normally because of frequent anxiety. Anxiety disorders are serious conditions that should be treated to lower the risk of long-term effects. Anxiety treatment has long been the subject of much debate in the medical community.
Some medical professionals feel that medication is the best treatment for chronic anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety medications often have side effects that are just as bad or even worse than the initial affliction. There are many natural ways to control negative emotional responses.
Exercise is one that is often overlooked by anxious people, but it is highly effective. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting and pain-killing chemicals. With regular exercise, you may begin to feel a dramatic decrease in negative emotional responses to situations that would have previously made you extremely anxious. The best way to cope with tension and worry is to control it from the inside out. Stress relief and stress management techniques are very valuable tools in coping with day-to-day stress. These techniques can teach you to calm yourself and relieve your tension.
You make a conscious effort to slow your breathing, release the worry, and remain in a calm state of mind. Meditation is an increasingly popular form of tension management in which you practice thoughtful relaxation and deep, calming breathing. However, if you are searching for a proactive method to free yourself of anxiety, hypnotherapy is by far the most effective treatment option.
When a person undergoes hypnosis, their emotional responses and reactions to events are changed at the core. This allows them to deal with typical anxiety-inducing triggers without the usual nervousness and fear. Hypnosis is often performed by a licensed hypnotherapist in a series of regular treatments. More commonly today, hypnotherapy is available in the form of self hypnosis programs which can be purchased in the form of CDs, MP3s, or DVDs for individual home use. No special skills are necessary to practice self hypnosis. All that you need is a way to play the hypnotherapy program and a quiet space where you can listen and relax.
Another successful method of anxiety treatment is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. NLP is a form of therapy that can help you condition your body and mind to naturally respond to situations in a more positive way. You can consciously decide to remain calm rather than anxious, which means that you always have control over your own feelings.
It is evident that it is important to control our negative emotional responses in order to stay healthy. Learning to deal with fear and nervousness may even add years onto your life. To treat long-term anxiety, the best treatment option to follow is to participate in hypnotherapy to change your attitudes and reactions from within. Then, it becomes easy to use stress management techniques as needed to remain calm in everyday situations.
Alan B. Densky is an NGH certified hypnotherapist. He offers a complete line of anxiety elimination hypnosis CDs, and advanced anxiety elimination CDs through his Neuro-VISION hypnotism website. You can visit his self hypnosis blog, and download a free MP3.