Anxiety, Stress Aren’t Always Bad: StudyStress

August 13, 2019 17:44
Anxiety, Stress Aren’t Always Bad: Study

While a lot of us regard anxiety and stress as negative concepts in our lives, researchers have a different version to say about it.

A new study has found that stress and anxiety play a positive role in our lives and people can get rid of most of it.

"Many Americans now feel stressed about being stressed and anxious about being anxious. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches out to a professional for help, stress and anxiety have already built to unhealthy levels," said Lisa Damour, Ph.D., a private-practice psychologist who presented the study at the meeting '2019 American Psychological Association Convention'. 

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life but in some people’s lives, they can become bigger issues.

Stress most of the times occur when people go beyond their abilities and work one's fingers to the bone and when they push themselves or are forced by situations to reach out beyond their familiar limits, according to Damour.

Anxiety too is a common trait person hold in today’s modus vivendi. Intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations are the signs of anxiety.

Read: Japanese Matcha Tea Can Reduce Anxiety: Study

Anxiety to a fault gets an unnecessarily bad rap, according to Damour.

"As all psychologists know, anxiety is an internal alarm system, likely handed down by evolution, that alerts us to threats both external such as a driver swerving in a nearby lane and internal such as when we've procrastinated too long and it's time to get started on our work," said Damour.

But according to Damour considering anxiety as sometimes helpful and protective allows people to make good use of it. For instance, she explained that she often tells adolescents she works within her practice to pay attention if they start feeling anxious at a party as their nerves may be alerting them to a problem. From this, they can stay alert and keep themselves off the hook.

"Similarly, if a client shares that she's worried about an upcoming test for which she has yet to study, I am quick to reassure her that she is having the right reaction and that she'll feel better as soon as she hits the books, " she added.  

However, this doesn't mean that stress and anxiety can't be harmful, said Damour. "In other words, stress causes harm when it exceeds any level that a person can reasonably absorb or use to build psychological strength," she said.

"Likewise, anxiety becomes unhealthy when its alarm makes no sense. At times, people feel routinely anxious without any reason. At other times, the anxiety is completely out of proportion to the threat, such as when a student has a panic attack over a minor quiz," Damour added.

"If you are under the impression that you should always be joyful, your day-to-day experience may ultimately turn out to be pretty miserable," Damour said.

By Sowmya Sangam

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stress  anxiety  lifestyle  health and fitness