If you are struggling with stress and anxiety, they might not be mutually exclusive. It is possible that they are linked, either with stress occurring first or anxiety occurring first. Here are some signs that your current stress is related to your anxiety.
You Have the Fight or Flight Response
A really common sign that the stress you are experiencing is also related to anxiety is when you have the fight or flight response. This is something that happens frequently with people who have anxiety or panic attack disorders. You begin to get fearful or are in the middle of a panic attack, which leads you to want to escape wherever you are. If you can’t escape, such as if you are driving on the highway, it can start causing a lot of panic. This same response also occurs with people who are under a lot of stress, wanting to avoid people or situations. It can definitely be a sign that your stress is from your anxiety.
Your Body is Reacting With Pain or Discomfort
Another thing that both stress and anxiety can cause is changes in how your body feels, often resulting in various types of pain and discomfort. You might find that you are suddenly getting a lot of headaches or your migraines are happening more often, you have nausea or are vomiting, or you are suddenly having a lot of joint pain. These types of pains might not be physical, but from your emotional turmoil from both stress and anxiety.
You Have Difficulty Focusing
Do you find that when you are stressed about something, just focusing on any one thing is hard to do? This is not only a sign of being under a lot of stress, but can also show a link between stress and anxiety. People who are anxious or have a mental health disorder find that focusing on something like work or schoolwork is difficult because those anxious feelings overwhelm their minds. This is actually a good sign that you might want to get extra help for your stress and anxiety.
You Are Having Trouble Sleeping or Eating
Yes, your stress and anxiety can both cause issues with sleeping and eating habits. These can happen exclusively as well, but if you have stress and a history of anxiety, then having insomnia and lack of appetite could be a sign that the two things are linked.
How to Find More Ways to Relax and Unwind
So, you have tried journaling and removing negative energy and situations from your life. You have also tried various forms of yoga and taking in a nighttime routine. You have a stash of essential oils and all the diffuser jewelry and devices a person could think of. The problem is you still find that you need to relax more and escape the daily grind. If this sounds like your situation, then consider these methods of finding more ways to relax and unwind.
Think Outside of the Box
The first way to find more ways to relax and unwind is to think outside of the box. The common ways to relax are to exercise, use yoga, color, meditate, and even to just breath. You need to think outside of the box. Stop looking at the common methods that others use and look to what makes you happy and relaxes you. Don’t think about what other people will think of your relaxation techniques, just do them. For some this could be writing, knitting, crafting, or even cleaning. Whatever works for you, do that. It is your stress, your relaxation, and your journey.
Be Comfortable in Being Alone
One way to find new ways to relax is to be comfortable with being alone. This doesn’t mean being lonely. It means being alone and being okay with that. Finding out about you and the person you are when no one else is there. This is usually the hardest part of finding more ways to relax, because you start to see what your issues are and where your stress may be coming from. You may experience anxiety, but through that anxiety you will find ways that help you relax and those may surprise you. Let the process happen and just take some evenings by yourself to discover what makes you happy and what relaxes you.
Look to Childhood Influences
Sometimes the simplest of things that we used to relax as a child can help us relax now. It may seem silly, but think back to the things you found relaxing as a child or a teenager. You can even look to things you found relaxing in your early 20s. These things may still relax you and may have been forgotten over the years. Look to those and see what may still work for you, what holds and interest, and what you could apply into your life now.
They key to relaxing and unwinding is to keep it from becoming just another thing to do. For example, some people prefer to avoid the gym because paying a fee makes the gym a to-do list instead of a want to do list item. Make sure you are doing what you love and not what you feel you have to do.