Watch theGrio Asks: Combating Anxiety and Stress

Stress can destroy you! Before you can combat it though, you must know what it is and what is causing it.

Mental tension is normally the result of a difficult situation or the state of extreme worry. Stress is a normal feeling in life that everyone experiences. Acute, episodic and chronic are the three types of stress that people experience.

Not treating stress can only increase that amount of strain and tension your mind can take. Stress follows you everywhere and doesn’t take time off. Finding ways to treat it will make your life easier and change the outlook of your relationships and mindset. 

Dr. Rachel Knox emphasizes the importance of stress management for both individuals and communities, especially for marginalized groups like Black people who face unique intergenerational racial trauma. As a physician who specializes in endocannabinoid allergy, cannabinoid medicine and health equity, she believes that the endocannabinoid system (that contains naturally producing compounds that form in the brain) plays a crucial role in our health and well-being.

Counselors can help individuals find resources that can help alleviate stressors in their lives.. (Adobe Stock).

Through good cannabis policy and regulation, research, and innovation, she aims to address the health disparities that the war on drugs caused and to promote health equity for underrepresented communities.

Knox noted the importance of identifying stressors — particularly for individuals who have been diagnosed with anxiety — and addressing the sources of them head-on. Stress is a common experience for many people and a variety of external factors and internal beliefs can be responsible for its onset.

This process involves determining which stressors can be eliminated and which ones require coping strategies to manage. By making stress management a daily practice and being patient with themselves, individuals can gradually reduce their levels of stress and feel better equipped to face their daily challenges, Knox said. This is a lifelong practice that requires continuous effort, but the benefits of reduced stress can greatly improve one’s overall health and well-being.

She recommends key resources  — friends and family who have benefitted from them — that are available to individuals seeking support groups for various types of stress, including financial, relational, family and workplace.

Healthcare providers, therapists and counselors, she noted, can also provide guidance and put individuals in contact with support groups that may be suitable for their needs. Additionally, contacting public health departments can be helpful.

Knox emphasizes that there are many types of support groups and that it may take some research and trial and error to find the right fit.

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