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STRESS AND ANXIETY IN EMERGING ADULTS

Got Stress?  You’re not alone!  The life of an emerging young adult is full of changes, choices, and challenges.

Your at the start of your life as an adult– something that you’ve been looking forward to. Then came all the changes.  Moving from high school where you were more or less comfortable, at least you knew the lay of the land. Now you are moving to college which is a whole new deal.  It’s exciting but also can cause anxiety.

FAQ’S ABOUT ANXIETY DISORDERS IN EMERGING ADULTS

WHAT DOES AN ANXIETY DISORDER LOOK LIKE?

People with Anxiety Disorders worry a lot.  The feelings go beyond the typical kind of worry that is appropriate for the situation and that can help people focus and be alert.

When presenting to groups I often use the example of a rubber band.  If you are using it to hold a handful of pens together, for example, you need some tension on the band.  A band with no tension is not helpful.  And likewise, if we never had any stress, we would lose motivation as nothing would be more important than anything else.   If you never had a due date for a paper, the motivation to complete it would need to come from internal sources.  You may have been in a class when there were no tests, no papers and attendance wasn’t mandatory.  It’s more work to stay on track, because any tension or motivation needed to come from something else.  You really had to provide your own discipline to get things done.

Contrast that with the class where there was too much stress.  Every minute you missed class your grade dropped, you had to focus the entire time or you would be lost the whole class. For me it as a stats class in grad. school.  If I had to go to the bathroom during the lecture, I would come back and be lost the whole rest of the class! Talk about stress!

Looking back at our rubber binder example, the rubber band was trying to hold an entire box of pencils together.  And you know what happens when you try to stretch a rubber band too far. (it breaks!)

This is what we mean by stress.  It’s when we expand our stressors more than our ability to handle them.

Some stress as we’ve said is good.  Too much stress without ample time to recover, on the other hand, builds up cortisol in the brain as well which can lead to both physical and mental health problems.  Too much stress and not enough time to recover has been connected with physical ailments such as colds, flu, asthma, and even cancer.  It also is often a factor in Depression, and yes, Anxiety Disorders.

When we talk about Anxiety Disorders we are really talking about a group of conditions related to anxiety as a symptom.   For a list of different types of Anxiety Disorders, Symptoms, and Treatments, see our series FAQ on… Anxiety Disorders in Emerging Adults. Too much stress can also lead to Depression. (See FAQ on…Depression Related Conditions in Emerging Adults.

One proactive thing we can do to reduce some of the effects of stress on our minds and bodies is to practice self-care.

EAC has developed a TAKE A BREAK FROM STRESS TOOL BOX with various tools for managing your stress to reduce your chances of experiencing an Anxiety Disorder, or hopefully reducing the symptoms if you do get one. The TAKE A BREAK FROM STRESS TOOL BOX includes:

Information sheets on Stress Management Tips, Depression FAQ’s, Anxiety FAQ’s, Activities to reduce stress, Stress Management Reading List and recorded stress  Take a Break from Stress Meditation to use whenever you need a break from your stress.  All the resources are specifically geared for Emerging Adults with Stress.

(PLEASE NOTE: THE TAKE A BREAK FROM STRESS TOOL KIT is NOT a substitute for treatment of Anxiety or any other Mental Health Disorder).

If you are interested in receiving the Self Care Tool Box, leave your name and email in the box below.

Some research has found that the emotions of excitement and anxiety activate similar parts of the brain.  It’s the meaning we give them that makes a big difference.  To be clear, I’m not saying that if you are being chased by a tiger you should just say “Oooh isn’t this exciting”!  But most of the time, that’s not what is making us anxious.  Often it’s our thoughts related to the changes, choices, and challenges that cause the most anxiety.  The tool kit will also provide some worksheets to look at how you think and what you say about your stress to demonstrate some techniques from Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT, that you might use as part of the treatment of Anxiety Disorders.

Learning techniques to calm your physiological reactions can go a long way to reducing your anxiety which is especially important if you experience Anxiety or Panic Attacks.

If you would like more help calming your Anxiety, contact Sue by clicking on the Contact us button and we will get in touch with you within 24 hours. Get started creating the life you desire today by reducing your Anxiety today.

 

Sue Smith

Author Sue Smith

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