easily becoming stressed

Posted by aliali @aliali, Aug 7, 2019

I easily become stressed. Will the exposure to EXTREME stressors make me experience stress better than I am ? I mean “watch your fear” technique. If you feel becoming stressed when meeting people then do it. If I e expose to tough stressors is it helpful?

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Hi, @aliali – wanted to follow up with you about your mention of experiencing extreme stressors and whether that will make you experience stress better.

This is some helpful information on stress you may be interested in:

– From Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987

– From the U.S. National Institutes of Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

What extreme stressors are you facing right now, aliali?


Hi @aliali

In your post you write, "If you feel becoming stressed when meeting people then do it." It sounds as if you might be thinking about "facing your fears" and doing what you are afraid of, is that what you mean?

If so, there is some value in feeling the fear and doing it anyway. However, it is important to face these fears in small steps. In other words, if you want to overcome your fear of meeting new people you might want to make it a goal to meet one new person a week (or a day), etc. You might want to practice/rehearse (perhaps in front of a mirror) introducing yourself to someone and asking their name.

Let me know if these thoughts/ideas are helpful to you, @aliali.


@aliali Sometimes when we face our stressors, we find [to our surprise] that the fears we thought we would experience, are not there, or are much less. Then comes realization that we may be unnecessarily increasing our fear thoughts in a situation. Does this make sense? It is like making something a bigger deal than it is. Can you think of a time when this happened, and how pleased you were to see it wasn't as bad as you thought it might be?


I, too, become anxious easily and respond poorly to any kind of stress. My stomach is always in a knot — for no identifiable reason – and I get nauseous. I’m in my 70s now and truly believe my nervous system has become less resilient. My diet and exercise programs are excellent, and I have taken up transcendental meditation. I’m also on 20 mg of Escitalipram (Lexapro). But I still continue to suffer from anxiety attacks.
So I am going to wean off this med and go with natural supplements, plus acupuncture to see if I feel better using that approach. At this point, I’ll try anything!


annedodrill, My thoughts and Blessings go out to you! They started treating my anxiety when I was in my mid 40's. Am 72 now! I can't givr you any new advice on meds because I've been on Paroxetine for probably for the last 15 years and it does well for me.
We all are different! The Sad thing about this disease is that others don't really understand what you are going through.
I know now that sometines it will flare up for whatever reason and I have to be aware and understand and step off the Merrygoround for a bit to get refocused.
Know that many of us on Mayo Connect are sending you our thoughts and energy.
I hope someone can help you with better suggestions on what is current.
Good Luck!


@aliali , I understand what you are going through. I started having anxiety about a year ago and my doctor put me on Ativan. That helped a little bit but she kept me on that medication for a while. My current psychiatrist screwed up my prescription and then wouldn't return my calls or texts so I am now off of the Ativan. Pretty much a forced withdrawal. Depending on how bad it is at the time, sometimes breathing exercises help or taking a walk and getting away from the problem. I think facing your fears is a good start at dealing with the cause of the anxiety. I wouldn't go to extremes though. Start off slow and work up. I'm trying to do that now and it is difficult but it helps.


Thank you one and all for your replies, suggestions and support. I do appreciate it! I’ll certainly share my progress and anything that may work for me in the hope that helps you too!


@annedodrill44 , I have a dichotomy of experience when it comes to stress. General, daily stressors can really be a pull upon me with my anxiety. It can produce fear, nausea and other very unpleasant symptoms. I take Gabapentin to control it fairly well, but with some side effects. On the other hand, I respond to emergent crises well, it's strange to me. I wouldn't seek out exposure to high stress as a way to control what bothers me on a regular basis for anxiety as my own means toward being more hardened to life's inputs. I practice recognizing my stress and how it may be false as a relief, but sometimes the unconscious levels get to me. Recognizing when we are not at ease, and starting from a premise that it is not necessarily us that is a cause can be helpful.


@guener It seems like you have an active mental practice to better your stress symptoms. That's great. Something I tell myself is that if I am feeling anxiety in the moment is that I am "creating problems" for myself–because I'm an over-thinker. Something that helped me to realize is that there are no problems if I don't create them. There are only situations to manage. That would be a cognitive behavioral therapy mechanism I believe.

@aliali are you referring to exposure therapy in your post? https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/exposure-therapy


Just wanted to let all those in this discussion on "Easily becoming stressed" know that our new Connect member spotlight is about one of the members participating in this conversation, @ayeshasharma https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/newsfeed-post/advocating-for-those-who-feel-alienated-from-health-care-spaces-meet-ayeshasharma/. Learn about Ayesha's favorite pastimes, irresistible foods, meaningful moments on Connect and more, and leave a comment if you'd like.

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