Oh my god! I love having anxiety and feeling like a ball of stress. It’s what I look forward to everyday. It’s an amazing feeling! I hope you note my sarcasm. Lol! Nobody likes being stress and having the feeling of anxiety. It sucks! Big time. But people generally mix up the two. Though there are strong similarities, there are a few differences that tear them apart. I want to get in the topic of stress and anxiety, because they are one of the main factors of any sort of depression/mental illness. In order to improve our mental health, we must understand these feelings. So hop on board into my magic school bus and let me be your Ms. Frizzle in this ride of stress and anxiety! **school children shouts yay in the background**
First thing first, what is stress? According to medical encyclopedia, it’s a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. Blah, blah, blah… fancy medical terminologies. Stress makes you feel extremely worried and pent up. I know for myself, my stress will stress me the fuck out that I’m too stress to deal with my stress, if that makes any sense. Lol!
The signs of stress are, you’re always sick and you can’t seem to get rid of it. Your back and neck is always aching. Insomnia as become your best friend. You have constant headaches that won’t go away. In that moment you wish you were Gandalf so you can banish the pain in middle earth. You either start getting gray or losing hair. If I had to choose, I would rather have gray hair.
Statistic shows that 46% of our stress comes from work. That makes sense since people usually spends a third of their hours a week at work. The second highest percentage, of 28%, goes to people issue. That’s understandable, because we constantly dealing with ignorant, stubborn, arrogant people aka assholes. From the wise words of Scar from The Lion King, “I’m surrounded by idiots” Guess who takes third place? 20% goes to juggling work and personal life. Anyone can comprehend that. Commuting back and forth from home to work, going to working, finding the energy to exercise and cook, then also make sure to have time with family, friends, and loved one is hard. Also, trying to squeeze in a bit of you time on top of that… EXHAUSTING! The final 6% is lack of job security. I would have said back around 2009, the number on that would have been much higher. But even with people that have stable jobs, want to pursue their own business, but is concern of financial stability can be worrisome to them.
Enough about statics of how much the average person stress about. Let’s get into anxiety. According to the dictionary, it states it’s a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Psychiatric definition, is a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior (ie: ocd/ocpd) or panic attacks.
Unfortunately, 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorder. Average adult age with anxiety is 31 and the average child age is 11. One third of people with anxiety disorder are being treated. Also, 56% of people said their anxiety interferes with their work life. Women are 60% more likely to develop anxiety than men. Not surprise ladies, am I right or am I right? Lol! The signs of anxiety is shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, tightness in your stomach, dizziness, tingling, changing of blood pressure, chills/sweating, and/or feeling like you’re out of control.
Okay, so what’s the big difference between the two? Think of stress as flight or fight. It’s a way to survive. For instance, the stressful feeling you get when you have to get a paper done within 24 hours that is 40% of your grade and you haven’t even started it. That stress level influence you to get the paper done as soon as possible. Anxiety is having unnecessary negative thoughts running through your head. Overwhelming yourself with things that will mostly likely not happen, but you continue to think of the inevitable.
I know personally for me, I am usually stress out about something, because there is always seems to me some kind of thing that will pop up for me to manage. Of course, having self doubt enhances the stress level. However, after I put things in motion, my stress levels decreases. The more I accomplish the task on hand, the more I feel at ease. BUT… here’s when the anxiety comes into play. As I am working on a presentation for work, negative thoughts slithers into my brain like, “What if the client won’t like the presentation?”, “What if the projector stops working in the middle of my presentation?” “I’m not that great at public speaking. What if I freeze like Eminem in the beginning of 8 Mile?” and etc. However, I always have to snap myself out of it, reassure myself, and talk myself into practicality.
All and all, stress and anxiety is not great feeling, but please know you’re not alone in this matter. You have a support system that is willing to listen and comfort you when you need it. If you’re stress out, it may mean you need a helping hand. Put away your pride and ask for help. There is no shame in doing so. If you have you’re having anxiety talk to someone. It you’re having a panic attack please read my blog (Panic Attacks) on how to deal with the situation. I hope my blog helps you or a love one out. Just remember to adult one day at a time.