Everywhere you turn you see advice on how to reduce your stress levels. While stress seems to be an unwanted attribute, is it actually a normal one?
Your body has a natural defense system and does what it has to defend itself as and when necessary. This is known as a fight or flight reaction and is often associated with situations of fear.
When this response kicks into gear your body reacts in different ways. You may find that you become more energetic, alert and focused. Some people may find that they become frightened and truly just want to run away.
The fight or flight response is a way that your body deals with stress as well. While a certain amount of stress is healthy, too much stress can put strain on you both mentally and physically.
A woman’s body experiences a good stress when going through child-birth. While the body is under pressure and the woman is experiencing a multitude of emotions, the outcome is a good one. The birth of a new child.
Stress becomes a problem when the cause of the stress is extreme. Your body reacts by producing a variety of symptoms. These include things such as headaches, muscle spasms, back pain, anxiety, loss of appetite or increased appetite, mood swings and an upset stomach.
There is just no getting away from stress these days. It creeps up on you in practically every aspect of your life. Stress affects people in different ways and some people can deal with stress better than others. No matter how much stress you can or cannot deal with, you want to learn how to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Stress, which is allowed to build up, can lead to serious health issues which could possibly be fatal.
The main causes of stress for most people include their family life and their work. Job related stress is on the increase in many countries around the world. Too many people have to commute for hours just to get to work each day. Or they are stuck in a job that they hate, but one that pays the bills.
Your home life can be stressful as well. The majority of families today include two working parents and this can lead to issues. You both come home tired and yet you have dinner to prepare, you have chores to be done and children that need attention.
The pressure of constantly being busy and active can be detrimental to your health. While you are busy running around caring for your family, you end up with no time to relax. Your body needs time to unwind and regroup after a hectic day, and a full schedule does not always allow for this.
Quite often one parent ends up doing more at home than the other. They may be the first one to get home or possibly has a less demanding job. It is still important that spouses share responsibilities and chores around the home.
Other common causes of stress include being in a bad relationship. It is not always easy to end a relationship, as you may feel guilty or just do not want to hurt the other person. Sometimes you have to cause a little pain to get to a point where you are happy again.
Caring for an elderly parent can also be extremely stressful. You already have a full day and then need to look in on a parent at the same time. You may end up having to take them to appointments or do their grocery shopping for them too.
All of these things can quickly add more stress into your life. This is why it is important for you to recognize the signs of stress and learn how to cope with them more effectively.
Some people are able to manage their stress to a higher level. This boils down to how you deal with different circumstances, your attitude, your support network and your own current state of health. People who are suffering from a chronic illness tend to have much lower tolerances to stress.
So while stress is a normal bodily reaction, it is imperative to know when your stress levels are too high. Once you know how you react to stress you will know when it is time to take action.
You need to know how to take control of your life and reduce your stress levels. This means learning how to say no, when necessary. You don’t have to be a super hero and no-one is asking you to be one.
Instead learn how to balance your professional and private lives and ensure that you schedule in time for yourself regularly. While anyone can become stressed out, those people who have demanding jobs seem to be at a much higher risk. Do not be afraid to ask for time off or to refuse working an extra shift, your health depends on it.
Stress can be a double-edged sword. Let’s explain this in a simpler way.
Over a period of time you start to always feel tired and worn out. You can’t put your finger on the reason but you notice that your energy levels are down and that you just can’t sleep properly. This is a result of stress.
At the same time allowing yourself to get run down has allowed your stress levels to increase. Because you are feeling tired you do not manage situations as well as you normally would. Getting enough rest is key to managing your stress levels.
Stressors are those items in your environment that cause you to feel stressed out. They add to your tiredness and drain your body of energy. This is a vicious circle that becomes a never ending one.
To manage your stress you need to get enough sleep and learn how to relax your body. How many times have you stayed up at night because you just can’t get certain things out of your mind? These are the things that you have to learn to let go off, these are your stressors.
Helpful ways to manage stress include listening to soothing music. This can be especially helpful if you have trouble falling asleep. Turn off the lights in your bedroom and listen to some soft music. Set the radio or disc player to automatically shut off after about an hour.
Soaking in a hot bath, or taking a warm shower are other great ways of learning how to relax your body. Going for a massage can help too, this is really great if your muscles feel stiff and knotted.
Getting enough exercises on a regular basis can also keep your stress levels down. Exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga are particularly good for helping you relax and sleep better at night.
Your goal is not to allow stress to have you running around in circles. If your stress levels are super high then look for the reason why. Then take action to
minimize your levels. You may have too much on your plate at work, or you may find that you never spend any time on yourself.
Remember you are important and your family needs you to stay healthy. Find ways to manage your stress and keep those levels at bay.