Coping with anxiety during the holidays

Anxiety can manifest itself as pain all over the body

By Melanie Lawson - The Morning Show anchor
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Everything seems so perfect on the outside during the holidays.  There are elaborate decorations, delicious food, and lots of laughs but what happens on the inside isn't always so pretty.  

"Your headaches that you're having, your stomach ache, your back aches, your chest pain, you can get a lot of physical manifestation of stress just from holding it in," said Dr. Michael Waters.

Waters treats patients at UF Health Plantation Oaks in Clay County and says he sees it all the time, especially around the holidays.

"It's not just all in your head it might start there but the pain is real," said Waters.

People who are so stressed it hurts. Waters says it's not an easy thing to admit.

"The hardest step is thinking you might have something to get off your chest or might have a problem with stress or anxiety. Not a lot of people want to hear that," said Waters.

Waters says even as the doctor he has to broach the subject carefully but once he gets a person talking there's often immediate relief.

"You have to find someone that you're comfortable with to just let it out even if it doesn't feel like a big deal. If it's bothering you just talk about it," said Waters.

It's not always that simple but Waters says your general practitioner can determine if you need more intervention. But also reminds people that you're alone in how you're feeling and to remember to eat healthy, get some sleep, and exercise.  These are natural ways to help you cope with everyday stresses.

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