Wellness Spotlight: Find Balance in Your Life

Your wellbeing matters. And it doesn’t end with your physical health—it includes your emotional health, too. Whether you’re feeling stressed for any number of reasons or just life in general, you can find a solution with XL Catlin’s (part of the AXA XL division) help.

Stress: Everybody Has It

Everyone feels stressed sometimes. But it’s important to understand what stress is and how it affects your health.

There are two types of stress:
  • Acute stress: It’s a short-term kind of stress that goes away quickly, like when you ski down a deep slope or have a fight with your partner.
  • Chronic stress: This is any type of stress that goes on for weeks or months, and may be as a result of longer-term issues in your life, like money problems or an unhappy marriage.
When you have chronic stress, your body stays alert, even when there is no danger. Over time, that puts you at risk for health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and even skin problems.

Recognizing the signs of stress is the first step toward better managing it. Diarrhea or constipation, frequent aches and pains, headaches, and tiredness are examples of symptoms to keep watch for, especially if you’ve experienced a traumatic event.

When It’s More Than Stress

Sometimes feeling emotionally disrupted is about more than stress. Anxiety and depression are conditions that affect many of us, and it’s critical to know the signs and symptoms so you can get the help you need.

Anxiety Disorders

We all feel anxious from time to time. For a person with anxiety disorder, the anxiety doesn’t go away and can worsen over time.
Persistent, uncontrollable anxiety can be overwhelming and even get in the way of daily activities. And if it is left untreated, it can diminish the quality of life for the person who experiences it.
There are different types of anxiety disorders, and three of the common types are noted below:
  • Generalized anxiety disorder: Excessive anxiety and worrying for months on end may indicate that you have generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms include restlessness, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating or having the feeling of your mind going blank, and muscle tension.
  • Panic disorder: Often experiencing unexpected panic attacks may indicate panic disorder is at play. Your heart pounds, you may sweat or tremble, have feelings of impending doom or being out of control, experience intense worries about when the next attack will happen, and have fear or avoidance of places where attacks have occurred in the past.
  • Social anxiety disorder: This condition is an extreme fear of social situations. It can make you feel embarrassed, judged, or fearful of offending others.

Depression

Depression is a serious medical illness, and it’s more than feeling “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. If you have depression, the feelings don’t go away and can interfere with your everyday life.

If you’ve been experiencing some of the following symptoms for at least two weeks, you may be experiencing depression:
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood and feeling of hopelessness
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
Not everyone who is depressed experiences all these symptoms. You may only have a few of these signs. If the symptoms above sound familiar to you, it may be time to ask for help.


Help Is Available Through Cigna Behavioral Health

If you’re enrolled in an XL Catlin medical plan, you can get in-network behavioral health care through Cigna Behavioral Health. Whether you seek talk therapy or require medication, you can go to cignabehavioral.com to search for a video telehealth specialist and call to make an appointment with your selected provider. The cost is the same as an in-network office visit, and you can get help from the comfort of your own home.

Beyond Treatment

Here are other tips for managing stress and living well, every day:
  • Stay active and try to exercise; you can even get rewarded for getting active through the Staying Well Program
  • Try meditation and relaxation techniques to feel calm and emotionally balanced; watch this TED talk for inspiration
  • Keep connected with people who support you, like your friends and family