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.W
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) defines diagnosed depression as an illness in which an individual experiences a persistent and severe low mood.
- Reach out to a mental health professional.
- Both psychotherapy and medication can be effective treatments.
- Support groups, mindfulness techniques, and exercise may also help.
Anxiety differs from depression in that it’s characterized by feelings of overwhelming dread or fear.
However, like depression, studies have suggested that stress may be linked to anxiety and anxiety disorders.
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- Reach out to a mental health professional.
- Treatment options include psychotherapy and medication.
- Alternative and complementary treatments are also available.
Irritability and anger can become common traits in people who are stressed.
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- A variety of strategies can help keep anger levels under control. Relaxation techniques, problem solving, and communication are all great methods for helping to curb anger.
- Anger management techniques can help to reduce the stress in situations that’d normally leave you frustrated, tense, or angry.
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 others, 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.
lifestyle changesmay help improve memory.
- Maintaining a balanced diet and keeping your body and mind active can keep you focused.
- Avoiding activities like drinking and smoking can help keep your brain healthy.
There has long been a link between stress and compulsive behaviors.
- Healthy lifestyle habits can help to reduce compulsive behavior. For more serious compulsive behaviors, professional help may be necessary.
- If you’re concerned about substance use, the
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 abrupt changes in mood.
With the many emotional signs of stress, it’s easy to see the 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
- using mindfulness techniques
For more serious changes in mood 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 is 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 having trouble managing 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 affect your physical health. It’s important to get help to stay in your best shape, emotionally and physically.
Online therapy options
Read our review of the best online therapy options to find the right fit for you.