The Role of Stress and Mental Health Conditions
Stress is a natural response to challenges and changes in life, but when it becomes chronic, it can adversely affect the body and the mind. Stress is also closely tied to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Chronic stress can contribute to the developing of these conditions, and managing stress can help prevent the onset or worsening of these conditions.
The Link Between Stress and Mental Health Conditions
Chronic stress has been linked to the development of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Stress activates the body’s “fight or flight” response, which can have mental and emotional effects such as difficulty concentrating, irritability, and anxiety. It works by activating a part of our nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system. In good health states and when stress is not too excessive, this follows a rebound of the ‘Rest & Digest” response, and the body and mind can return to balance. However, when this stress response is activated frequently, it can affect your mental health.
More than 33% of the world is currently experiencing Anxiety: Chronic stress can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders characterized by excessive worry and fear. Anxiety disorders can interfere with your daily life and can be debilitating.
Depression: Stress has also been linked to the development of depression, a mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. Depression can affect your ability to work, sleep, and enjoy life.
My personal story
In 2016, I moved from the UK to Australia to pursue a teenage dream. To become a scientist and live down under. Around six months in, I was hit by a series of unfortunate events: purchasing a dodgy car and losing lots of money, a toxic relationship, issues with friends and being plagued with injuries that prevented me from training in the gym. Everything that makes a human feel safe quickly disappeared from my life. These lefts me with crippling anxiety, insomnia and ruminating thoughts.
As a result of the chronic stress, I developed an immune issue that led to severe psoriasis, leaving me embarrassed, ashamed, and socially disconnected. Soon my mental health deteriorated, and I felt like living was pointless, and I began having suicidal thoughts.
One of the things that allowed me to overcome these issues and put my life back on track was learning how to manage my stress better.
Stress isn’t just a feeling; it’s a physiological response that alters behaviour and perception over time. It reverts you to coping mechanisms that aren’t always the healthier of strategies, especially if they are unconscious, learnt young or are an addiction in nature. And also, within the mind, it heightens a threat detection system, so you are more likely to view the world in a manner that seems more concerning.
Managing Stress for Better Mental Health
Managing stress is essential for maintaining overall mental health and reducing the risk of developing mental health conditions. There are a variety of techniques that can help reduce stress, such as exercise, deep breathing, and mindfulness. Incorporating these techniques into your daily routine can help you better cope with stress and improve your overall mental health.
It is also essential to address the sources of stress in your life and to seek help if necessary. If you are experiencing chronic stress or are struggling to manage stress on your own, seek the advice of a mental health professional. They can help you develop strategies to cope with stress and improve your overall mental health and well-being.
Ensuring you don’t let stress become a mental health issue.
“Don’t let stress control your life – take action to manage it and improve your overall well-being. If you’re struggling to incorporate stress management techniques into your routine and could use some support, consider investing in my coaching services. With my expert guidance and personalized approach, you can learn how to cope effectively with stress and improve your health and well-being. So don’t wait – take the first step towards a better life today by investing in my coaching services now!”