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Stress is the modern monster, it is often seen as just a minor annoyance. ‘I’m just a little stressed’ is a common phrase. For most a bit of ‘stress’ now and again is actually good for us. The release of endorphins when a little anxious is not a bad thing, if recognized for what it is. The problems arise when it is left unchecked.
High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and obesity can all be acerbated by high stress levels. Common symptoms of increased stress are muscle pain and tension. Severe headache and migraines are often associated with being stressed. Add into the mix sleep problems, upset stomach, tiredness and loss of libido and you have one unhappy camper.
Then we have the effects on our moods. Stress can bring on periods of restlessness and anxiety. Lost motivation, the feeling that you are overwhelmed by the smallest of tasks. Anger, irritability, sadness and depression are all signs that you are not dealing with your stress. All of these things can lead to other problems. You can withdraw into yourself, becoming abusive to others. Alcohol abuse is common when stressed out. As is, over or under eating.
Laughing is excellent therapy. Watch your favorite comedian and have a good belly laugh. If you find yourself in a situation that is causing you anxiety, like a big presentation at work, for example. Take five minutes and do some deep breathing exercises. There are several techniques that work. While you can’t lower your pulse directly, slowing your breathing will calm you down.
Talking to yourself may be seen as a sign of madness. It is, however, an excellent way to bring yourself back down. Anxiety caused by stress is a very debilitating problem. Most of us know how to calm down others. We speak in a slow soft manner to them, with emotionally comforting phrases. Simply train yourself to do the same to yourself. Say out loud ‘this feeling will pass’ and ‘I will get through this’. Or ‘I am safe” and ‘I am in charge I have the power to stay calm’.
Stress has been part of our lives forever. We have built in mechanisms to deal with stress. Adrenaline is released when we feel threatened, to give us the boost deal with it. We call it the fight or flight reflex. Modern life throws up all kinds of different situations.
These are not usually life threatening but we still have the same response. Getting your heart rate going every now and again is good for you. Letting the stress get the better of you is not. Remember that it is just a natural response to outside stimulus and you have the power to deal with it.