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Science of Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety is born from stress, but not all stress is bad. There is a performance curve related to stress level. Learning how your body reacts to stress and changing how you react to stress is the first step in overcoming anxiety and avoiding burnout. Learning to handle stress and anxiety, or as I like to say “Stress Better“, is about changing your mindset on stress. Doing so helps students (or anyone) learn how to properly handle stress and those who suffer from anxiety identify the possibility of a disorder.

Some Quick Science

Yerkes–Dodson law
Yerkes–Dodson Law

Stress is a response to an external cause, such as deadlines or arguments. Your body produces the hormone Cortisol when you experience stress. Over short periods, increased cortisol causes improved reflexes, brain function, and decision making. Stress is actually your bodies way of helping you handle any situation.

Anxiety is when Cortisol levels spike too high or do not return to normal after a short period of time. This is when the detrimental side effects of stress (and Cortisol) begin, such as, feelings of dread, heart palpitations, and trouble breathing. Anxiety does not always have a specific cause or reason since it is basically a panic response gone haywire.

Spotting Anxiety

Noticing symptoms of Anxiety can be difficult if there is no violent panic attack or complete meltdown, but it does not need to get to that severity before reaching out. Just talking to a professional in that field can be extremely helpful in overcoming anxiety and stress.

Silent Anxiety or High-Functioning Anxiety are trendy terms that have developed in recent years to describe people who have learned a variety of coping mechanisms, usually on their own due to living with undiagnosed disorders. These coping mechanisms can work wonders, but if not guided by a professional can develop into deeper mental health issues such as depression.

Follow these links for more information:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secret-lives-introverts/201805/15-signs-anxious-introvert

https://psychcentral.com/blog/stress-management-tips-for-students/

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Staci

I am the co-creator of FightSong!. Currently I live in Las Vegas, although I'm always traveling to spread to message of FightSong! Mental Health Advocacy and supporting students and counselors is really important to me. After highschool and college I was diagnosed with a mental health disorder I had been struggling with my whole life. Through counseling and support from my family I am able to be the rockstar I am today.

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