Any difficult situation causes stress. It’s your body’s way of helping you get through, making you more alert and responsive. When the challenging situation resolves, your fears and worries should too.
However, with the demands of modern life, you may feel stressed out all the time. Chronic stress isn’t good for your physical or mental well-being.
At Revîv Functional Psychiatry & TMS Wellness Center in Fullerton, California, our compassionate psychiatrist Dr. Hina Sidhu understands the toll of chronic stress. Here, we want to discuss stress, why you might feel stressed out all the time, and what you can do about it.
The stress response
The fear and worry (or excitement) you feel when going through a life change or experiencing something new is called stress. Your feelings are part of your body’s stress response, which is driven by hormones that trigger physical and emotional changes in your body, or fight-or-flight.
In addition to the worry or excitement, the stress response causes your muscles to tense, your heart rate to increase, and your mind to feel more alert. Everyone responds to stress differently. How you handle stress affects your body’s reaction to it.
People with a greater reaction to stress may have a harder time handling it. If stressful situations cause overwhelming anxiety, it may make you hyper-alert and prolong your body’s stress response.
Combine your difficulty handling stress with the demands of daily life, and your stress response may always be on, making you feel stressed all the time. It is also called chronic stress.
The toll of chronic stress
Chronic stress means your stress response is always on. Your body is always on high alert and ready for fight-or-flight, even when there’s no danger. Ongoing stress damages your mental and physical well-being, causing or exacerbating health conditions like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Your ongoing stress may also cause physical symptoms like stomach aches, headaches, or difficulty focusing.
When you feel anxious and worried constantly about things like finances, health, or work, and it’s making it difficult to function, you may have an anxiety disorder. Chronic stress may cause or worsen an anxiety disorder.
How to manage stress
You can’t avoid stress, but you can learn how to handle it so it doesn’t take over your life. We take a holistic approach to care. When treating people struggling with their mental well-being, we always include therapies that help with life management and stress.
Making adjustments to your daily life and creating habits that benefit your health can improve how you handle stress. Good nutrition and regular exercise are great tools to help with stress management.
Breathing exercises and meditation are also beneficial and something you can do when feeling overwhelmed. Taking a few minutes to concentrate on nothing but your breathing can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress response.
Feeling stressed out all the time takes its toll on your mental and physical well-being. But you can reclaim your life. Let us help you manage your stress and improve your overall well-being
Call our office or book an appointment online today so we can provide the help you need. We also offer telemedicine appointments.