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Mental Health Awareness Month – May: Focus Stress & Anxiety

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Stress, we all have it, we need to manage it. Believe it or not, stress and anxiety are a natural part of the fight or flight response our bodies have in response to some type of perceived danger. The purpose of this response is to make sure you are alert and ready to deal with a threat. Stress and Anxiety are not the same thing. Stress is the body’s reaction to a threat, and anxiety is the body’s reaction to stress.


Now that I’ve confused you let me help decipher this. When you are stressed out, the body releases nutrients into the blood to make sure your bodily functions (each cell) can be at the ready for what is perceived as a threat. Anxiety on the other hand is how you sense your body’s changes such as the feeling of distress, nervousness, or fear that someone has before a major event. This keeps you on the alert and aware. Actually, what is known as “stress” tends to be short term and in response to a recognized threat. That part where your body releases stress hormones into the bloodstream to help your organ systems function better in prep for some threat. Anxiety can hang around and sometimes seem as if nothing is triggering it. The fight or flight response that this process give us can kick in when we face a physical or emotional (real or perceived) hazard. This can be good when you need to escape a predator but these feelings when prolonged can disrupt everyday life. So, what do we do about it? Well, different things can be done or a combo of things. Relaxation techniques and meditation can help.


Moving your body, exercise can relieve stress and anxiety. Talking with friends, family, and/or a medical professional about your stress and anxiety can help. Before you start any new routine, you should consult with your regular doctor.


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