Type of stress: Ambient anxiety
Out of all the types of stress, ambient anxiety can be potentially chronic, and it gets fed by current events and world unrest. It can strike anytime you turn on the news or hear about someone else’s ill fortune. Ambient anxiety is not empathy, but rather, a stress-laden, intense reaction to bad news—a nearby robbery, for example—coupled with fear that it will happen to you or to a loved one. “People who suffer from ambient anxiety have not developed an internal psychological and emotional barrier. Things they see and hear penetrate them to their core,” explains Beverly Hills-based psychotherapist, Fran Walfish, PsyD. Her tips for eradicating ambient anxiety include lots of self-care, plus limiting your daily intake of news. “It also helps to avoid negative people. When trying to keep a positive attitude, you must avoid people who thrive on negativity,” she adds. Try these simple ways to make managing stress much easier.
Type of stress: Work
According to the World Health Organization, work-related stress causes ill health, reduced productivity, and poor motivation. It also increases on-the-job accidents. “A recent study in Preventive Medicine, indicated that prolonged exposure to work-related stress is linked to an increased likelihood of specific cancers, including lung, colon, rectal, stomach, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” adds Dr. Walfish. Ways to combat work-related stress include physical activity. Commit to exercising, at least 30 minutes a day. This can be a brisk walk during your lunch hour, or as part of your commute home. It also helps to turn off the gossip machine. Avoid buying into or adding to negative feelings at work by discussing the situation with co-workers. Instead, discuss your feelings, calmly, and powerfully, with your boss.