Stress, defined as emotional tension or mental strain, is all too common of a feeling for many of us.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the average stress level of adults in the United States in 2015 was 5.1 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Too much stress can produce both physical and emotional symptoms.
Let’s look at some of the emotional signs of stress and what you can do to reduce and manage them.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) defines depression as an illness in which an individual experiences a persistent and severe low mood.
Research suggests a link between high levels of stress and the onset of depression.
During the study, the researchers found that both chronic and acute stress events contributed to a greater incidence of depression in women.
Anxiety differs from depression. It’s characterized by feelings of overwhelming dread, rather than just feelings of sadness.
However, like depression, studies have suggested that stress may be linked to anxiety and anxiety disorders.
In some people, too much stress can have a negative impact on sex drive and the desire to be intimate.
Much of the research surrounding stress and low libido involves women, but it can certainly affect men too. One
- Reducing stress can help to restore your sex drive and improve libido.
- Self-care, relaxation techniques, and exercise are a few ways to raise self-confidence.
- Improving communication with a sexual partner may improve intimacy and restore positive feelings towards sex.
If you find yourself having trouble with concentration and memory, stress may be a part of the problem.
There has long been a link between stress and addictive behaviors.
- Healthy lifestyle habits can help to reduce problematic and compulsive behavior. For more serious compulsive behaviors, professional help may be necessary.
National Institute on Drug Abusehas resources for starting on the road to recovery. These include lifestyle recommendations to help manage stress.
The many emotional effects of stress can leave you feeling like you’re experiencing mood swings.
With the many other emotional signs of stress, it’s easy to see just how big of an influence stress can have on your overall mood.
There are many ways to improve your mood, such as:
- reducing stress
- enjoying nature
- celebrating with friends
- mindfulness techniques
For more serious mood swings that don’t seem to go away, reach out to a mental health professional for help.
Reducing the emotional symptoms of stress starts with reducing the sources of stress in your life.
The American Institute of Stress explains that while there are a variety of stress-reducing techniques, finding ones that work for you is important.
- Physical activities such as running, jogging, and aerobics are a great way to physically relieve stress and tension.
- Relaxing physical activities such as yoga or tai chi can help to work your body while relaxing your mind. Try these yoga poses to relieve stress.
- Mindfulness techniques such as meditation can strengthen your emotional responses to stress.
- Reducing stress in different areas of your life, when possible, can help to lessen your exposure to chronic stressors.
- Mobile apps may calm your mind and offer guided conversations to help you manage stress and anxiety.
Finding the stress-reducing techniques that work for you are an important step in decreasing emotional symptoms of stress.
Over time, you may find that your resolve against stress becomes stronger and that your symptoms improve.
However, if you find that you’re still struggling to handle the emotional aspects of everyday or chronic stress, it may be best to reach out to a mental health professional.
Keep in mind that stress can also have negative effects on your physical health. It’s important to get help to stay in your best shape, both emotionally and physically.