Is It Even Possible To Reduce Stress While Living A Normal Life?

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated October 21, 2022

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Video Transcript

Thank you for creating such an amazing website. I’m finding your information super helpful! Now that I understand the link between anxiety, stress, and symptoms, I see the importance of reducing stress. My question is, is it even possible to reduce stress while living a normal life, such as having to work, raising a family, dealing with financial pressures, and so on?

You are more than welcome. We’re glad you are finding our information beneficial!

As you’ve learned, anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress. They are called anxiety symptoms because anxious behavior is the main source of the stress that stresses the body, causing it to become symptomatic.

To reduce and eliminate anxiety symptoms, we must reduce stress sufficiently for the body to recover from the adverse effects of unhealthy stress.

To answer your question, yes! You can reduce stress sufficiently to eliminate anxiety symptoms even when living a normal life.

Two of the most important strategies for symptom elimination include:

  1. Containing anxious behavior.
  2. Reducing stress despite living a normal lifestyle.

Even though these are important strategies, there are challenges to applying them.

For instance, since anxious behavior creates stress, you want to contain your anxious behavior to reduce stress. However, containment requires learning and applying the skill of “containment.” Implementing containment is one of the most common challenges for anxious people, at least initially.

Recovery Support members can learn more about containment in chapter 6.

Furthermore, since anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress, you need to reduce stress to reduce symptoms.

But everyone experiences stress. Some stress is even good for us. So, stress isn’t the problem. The problem occurs when we allow the body to become chronically stressed (which we call stress-response hyperstimulated).

So again, stress itself isn’t the problem. The problem occurs when we allow the body to become chronically stressed by not proactively managing stress so that it doesn’t become chronically stressed.

Therefore, it’s not that we need to eliminate stress but to reduce it sufficiently so the body can recover once it becomes chronically stressed (hyperstimulated).

Thankfully, there are many ways we can do that despite living a normal life.

For instance, since most of our stress comes from behavior (the ways we think and act), which we can change, there’s a lot we can do to reduce stress. Working at Level Two recovery can go a long way to keeping stress within a healthy range.

Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address Level Two recovery.

Moreover, there are many ways to manage stress so that it doesn’t build into chronic stress.

For example:

  • Regularly practicing a deep relaxation technique twice daily can prevent and even reverse the buildup of stress.
  • Increasing relaxation.
  • Increasing time to have fun.
  • Getting regular good sleep.
  • Regular light to moderate exercise.
  • Spending more time in nature.
  • Taking frequent holidays.
  • Eating a healthy diet and avoiding stimulants.

And so on.

You can read our article “60 Ways to Reduce Stress And Anxiety” for more information.

Recovery Support members can read the section “Stress Reduction = Tips For Managing Stress And Stressful Times” in chapter 14.

Even though you are living a normal life, there are many ways to reduce and manage stress so that recovery can occur and be maintained throughout your life.

Learning healthy coping and stress management skills can prevent chronic stress and its symptoms.

Consequently, even though you are living a normal life, your stress will be far less. Then, it’s relatively easy to keep stress within a healthy range.

Regularly practicing healthy stress management strategies and identifying and addressing unhealthy behaviors is often all we need to keep stress from becoming problematic.

Sure, addressing Level Two recovery takes time and effort. But the results can affect the rest of your life.

I wish I would have had access to effective Level Two recovery work when I was struggling with anxiety disorder. I could have saved myself years of hardship had I gained the skills I have today much earlier in life.

However, today, there is no reason to put that work off. I highly recommend addressing Level Two recovery work as soon as possible, as the benefits of doing so are many, far-reaching, and long-lasting.

While I lost years to anxiety, hyperstimulation, and symptoms, people today don’t have to. Good help is available with tried-and-true processes that deliver satisfying results.

Again, I highly recommend doing this work as soon as possible, as the results can produce many benefits overall, including keeping stress within a healthy range despite living a normal life.

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The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions archive.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including this Frequently Asked Anxiety Question.