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Physical And Environmental Causes Of Stress

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Physical And Environmental Causes Of Stress

Stress, which is the main trigger for anxiety attack comes in two categories: (i) physical causes and (ii) environmental causes.

Physical Causes of Anxiety

1. Age - Physical causes for anxiety are those which are triggered by tangible changes in your body. One of the most often quoted factors under this category is middle age. Though more commonly identified with women and menopause, men too experience anxiety symptoms in their mid-to-late 40s. This is because of sudden changes in hormone production which affect the functions of all the systems in the body. Doctors normally prescribe HRT or hormone replacement therapy for women who experience extreme anxiety levels during menopause. For men, the only way out is counseling and symptomatic treatment.

2. Andropause as in the male-menopause - Did you know that men go through a similar phase (though not directly connected to fertility) in their late 40s to mid 50s? It is called andropause and exhibits almost all the symptoms of menopause including anxiety and panic attacks. These are usually treated on the merit of each case, though imbalance of hormones plays a major role here as well.

3. Drug effects and side effects - Other physical causes of anxiety are related to drugs and their absorption in the body. Say, you were a regular smoker and decide to quit; or you realize that coffee and caffeinated products are making you edgy and you eliminate from your diet. The result in both these cases would be anxiety attacks due to withdrawal symptoms caused by suddenly stopping the intake of such substances. You would also experience anxiety attacks if certain drugs are stopped suddenly, such as anti-depressants, abuse of OTC (over-the-counter) drugs, and so on.

4. Thyroid problems - Anxiety can also be triggered by a malfunctioning thyroid gland, which once again causes chemical imbalances in the brain. Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose because tests usually come negative when the thyroid is tested for abnormal function.

Environmental Causes of Anxiety

Internal factors that cause imbalance of hormones and other chemicals account for one side of the story. The other one pertains to external factors or stressors, such as:

1. Job loss or the threat of loosing your job
2. Death of someone loved
3. Prolonged illness
4. Sudden change in lifestyles - marriage, life after death of a spouse, having a baby, new job, moving to a new town/ country, and so on
5. Relationship problems
6. Knowledge that you are suffering from a fatal disease
7. Extreme conditions at workplace
8. Inability to generate adequate finances to support self and family
9. Physical and/or mental abuse
10. Physical challenges to cope with situations or life styles

Before we go any further you need to know one less known fact - stress can be positive, too. The Oxford dictionary defines stress as, “a state of affairs involving demand on physical or mental energy", which leaves out any allusion to the negative connotation we are so used to hear about. Medically, stress is “perturbation of the body"s homeostasis" or simply put a state where both body and mind need to work constantly to cope with the demands from environment. Therefore, it is easy to infer from here that stress does not become a negative factor unless it cannot be managed. As long as you are able to manage stress, you are likely to benefit rather than suffer because of it. How?

Consider a scenario where you have a tight deadline. In order to meet it, you draw upon all your inner potential and strength and push yourself to overachieve. The result is that you do make the deadline and you feel good about your success. Inventions, people juggling successfully careers and homes, athletic feats, and so on are only a few example of how stress can be a positive vehicle to fulfill your potential. It becomes negative and harmful when sustained over a prolonged period, long enough to cause gross malfunction of the major systems within your body.

About The Author
Grab your FREE Stress Relief Manifesto Report. It'd show you how you can achieve inner calm and eliminate stress from your life forever. For more information on dealing with anxiety, panic attacks and stress. Visit the attack anxiety blog today.

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