Stress and anxiety can be normal aspects of life but can have a negative impact on physical and mental health when not managed effectively.
There’s a fine line between stress and anxiety. Both are emotional responses, but stress is typically caused by an external trigger. The trigger can be short-term, such as a work deadline or a fight with a loved one or long-term, such as being unable to work, discrimination, or chronic illness. People under stress experience mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, anger, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is defined by persistent, excessive worries that don’t go away even in the absence of a stressor. Anxiety leads to a nearly identical set of symptoms as stress: insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, muscle tension, and irritability.
There are many things you can do to reduce the amount of stress you feel and improve overall physical and emotional health. A few suggestions include:
- Identify the causes
- Talk to someone
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Keep a journal
- Laugh and learn from mistakes
- Manage your time
- Get enough sleep
- Spend time doing things you enjoy
- Avoid nicotine
CONNECT WITH RESOURCES
E(F)AP resources and assistance are available to U.S. and Canadian Mauser Packaging Solutions employees and members of their household through our benefit programs.*
U.S.: THE HARTFORD: Enhanced Ability Assist® - Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Call toll free 1-800-96-HELPS (1-800-964-3577) or visit www.guidanceresources.com.
Canada: Manulife – Homewood Health/Santé: Resilience® Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
Call toll free 1-866-644-0326 or visit www.manulife.ca.
*Resources and assistance available regardless of enrollment in healthcare benefits.
Note: Similar programs may be offered in other countries through Company provided offerings or government healthcare systems. Check with your local Human Resources representative for available resources.
If your stress or anxiety does not respond to coping strategies, or if you feel that either stress or anxiety are affecting your day-to-day functioning or mood, consider talking to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you are experiencing and provide you additional coping tools. For example, a psychologist can help determine whether you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders differ from short-term feelings of anxiety in their severity and in how long they last: The anxiety typically persists for months and negatively affects mood and functioning. Some anxiety disorders, such as agoraphobia (the fear of public or open spaces), may cause the person to avoid enjoyable activities or make it difficult to keep a job.
According to the data from the National Institute of Mental Health, 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetimes. Anxiety disorders are very treatable. Most patients who suffer from anxiety are able to reduce or eliminate symptoms after several (or fewer) months of psychotherapy, and many patients notice improvement after just a few sessions.
Anxiety disorders can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. One of the most widely used therapeutic approaches is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing maladaptive thought patterns related to the anxiety. Another potential treatment is exposure therapy, which involves confronting anxiety triggers in a safe, controlled way in order to break the cycle of fear around the trigger.
Stress and anxiety are treatable, and you don’t have to try to manage them alone. Whether you need help from a professional or just the support of a friend or loved one, having a support system can help you cope with stress and anxiety in a healthy way.