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There is no shortage of stress and anxiety in today's busy lifestyle. People are all expected to do so much, and very little value is placed on just "being" and simply taking some time to enjoy the lives we've built and the people we love.

Some stress is ok, it can even be helpful.  Stress can create the motivation to accomplish things that are important to us. But part of the problem with stress is that we often aren't aware of how much it's affecting us. When left unchecked, stress takes a significant toll on the body and on our mental health.

Anxiety, just like the fight, flight, or freeze response, is a survival mechanism that allows people to protect themselves in order to avoid suffering.  These mechanisms may have been necessary for you in childhood, but they may not be serving you well today. 

Common signs of anxiety and stress include:

  • Insomnia

  • Clenched jaw or grinding teeth

  • Digestive upsets 

  • High blood pressure

  • Lack of energy

  • Forgetfulness

  • Irritation

  • Isolating yourself from others

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Decreased sex drive

Although we can't avoid stress and anxiety all together, we can adjust how we respond to stressful events. Counseling and meditation are extremely helpful in learning to manage stress and anxiety more effectively. You can learn how to respond to stressful events in a calm and thoughtful way, rather than reacting with anger, avoidance, or temporary coping mechanisms (alcohol, food, drugs, tv, isolation). Read more about anxiety.

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