Do you wonder if you are anxious or just stressed out? You know that irritable, frustrated, ready to lose it feeling all too well. Is there something wrong or not? You lash out at your spouse for leaving a sock on the floor; and you yell at your kids for running around the house again. Why won’t they listen?! You feel stressed and anxious and worried.
All. The. Time.
Did you know that stress, worry and anxiety are actually different from one another?
Stress is your body’s reaction to a trigger and can be positive or negative ( basically is it helping you accomplish something or making life difficult!)
- Stress is that feeling you get when you have to pick up the kids, run them around to their after school practices, make it home in time to get them fed, washed and in bed at a semi-reasonable hour without losing it. It’s that pressure of trying to make everyone happy all the time and not being able to do it all. The desire to have the perfect house and family. You want people think that everything in your life is wonderful, except you are falling apart inside.
Worry is also thought based and occurs in your mind and limbic systems.
- Worry is all the little things. The uncertain feeling that you have when you bring your son to the park and you see him climbing up those stairs. It’s not knowing what your spouse is going to think about the purchase that you made without asking…again. It’s not knowing the reaction your best friend will have when you tell her that you are pregnant, and you know that she’s been trying for months.
Anxiety is the reaction to stress—which can also evoke a fear response and create
associations in your minds.
- Remember that example of being perfect I mentioned under “stress”? Well, now you have reached anxious. You can’t shake the constant thoughts running through your mind and now it is affecting the way you talk to your husband and respond to your children. You are yelling more than you want and taking out all that pressure on the person who cares about you the most. You find yourself always on edge and feel like your going to implode (or maybe explode!) because the thoughts are so intrusive.
So how does this all fit together?
When you feel stressed out and worried you associate a negative thought and it creates anxiety. It is the fight, flight, freeze response you learned about in High School. Your mind has created a reaction to stress which is anxiety. This activates a safety mechanism to protect us. So our anxiety is often self-preservation, it just doesn’t feel like it!
How can you overcome the negative feelings of anxiety?
By re-teaching your mind what is truly safe, your body can begin to properly respond to the stress and worry you are faced with on a daily basis. It takes time, effort and work. Sometimes it feels worse than when you began, but you CAN overcome feelings of worry and anxiety and take it to a new level.
Seeking a therapist who can support and partner with you and help you overcome feelings of anxiety, stress or worry? If you are a new mom, parent of a special needs child or simply seeking a therapist–Schedule a FREE consult today.