Stress and Anxiety are the Same Thing. Stress and anxiety put people in the hospital every day. It may not be common to go to the doctor to say “I think I have stress,” but the National Institutes of Health say that 80% of illnesses are caused by stress, directly or indirectly.
Powerful hormones, including adrenalin, are released into your blood when you’re stressed and anxious. They cause a rise in blood pressure, a faster heart and breathing rate, and faster conversion of glycogen into glucose. These are all good things if you need to escape a charging grizzly bear. Unfortunately, when these effects are prolonged, as they often are in modern life, the immune system is depressed, and the body suffers other negative changes.
Some of the common negative effects of prolonged stress include fatigue, pain in the muscles and joints, depression, anxiety, headache, mental confusion, and irritability. These stress reactions cause your body to use too much energy, which can eventuaLLY result in physical and mental weakness.
Stress And Anxiety Relief
At Stanford University, an analysis of 146 meditation studies was done. The conclusion was that meditation was not only beneficial at the time of practice, but that it significantly reduced anxiety as a character trait. Most of the studies focused on transcendental meditation, but it’s probable most methods have similar results. (Reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: 957)