Recognize Signs of Stress
Everybody experiences stress. It’s the body’s natural reaction to tension, pressure and change. A certain amount of stress more challenging and less bored. However, too much stress can be bad for you=both physically and mentally. Prolonged, unrelieved stress can lead to accidental injury, as well as to serious illness.
For the sake of your health, safety and happiness, it’s important to recognize and manage stress before it gets the best of you.
- Panic Attacks
- Upset Stomach
- Feeling “Uptight” or “On Edge”
- Lack of Energy
- Lack of Hope
- Poor Concentration
- Overeating or Skipping Meals
- Frequent Colds
- Feeling of Powerlessness
- Muscle Tension of Soreness
- Grinding or Gritting Teeth
- Inability to Make Decisions
- Sadness of Lack of Interest
- Inability to sleep, Sleepiness or Oversleeping
- New or Increased Use of Tobacco, Alcohol or other Drugs
What Is Stress?
Stress experiences may be positive or negative, but ongoing stress, commonly referred to as chronic stress can be damaging. Stress that is untreated often turns to anxiety or depression.
Depression and anxiety. It’s probably no surprise that chronic stress is connected with higher rates of depression and anxiety. One survey of recent studies found that people who had stress related to their jobs — like demanding work with few rewards — had an 80% higher risk of developing depression within a few years than people with lower stress.
Stress has also been linked to these major illnesses.
Heart disease. Researchers have long suspected that the stressed-out, type A personality has a higher risk of high blood pressure and heart problems. We don’t know why, exactly. Stress can directly increase heart rate and blood flow, and causes the release of cholesterol and triglycerides into the blood stream. It’s also possible that stress is related to other problems — an increased likelihood of smoking or obesity –– that indirectly increase the heart risks. Doctors do know that sudden emotional stress can be a trigger for serious cardiac problems, including heart attacks. People who have chronic heart problems need to avoid acute stress — and learn how to successfully manage life’s unavoidable stresses — as much as they can.
Asthma. Many studies have shown that stress can worsen asthma. Some evidence suggests that a parent’s chronic stress might even increase the risk of developing asthma in their children. One study looked at how parental stress affected the asthma rates of young children who were also exposed to air pollution or whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. The kids with stressed out parents had a substantially higher risk of developing asthma.
Obesity. Excess fat in the belly seems to pose greater health risks than fat on the legs or hips — and unfortunately, that’s just where people with high stress seem to store it. “Stress causes higher levels of the hormone cortisol and that seems to increase the amount of fat that’s deposited in the abdomen.”
Diabetes. Stress can worsen diabetes in two ways. First, it increases the likelihood of bad behaviors, such as unhealthy eating and excessive drinking. Second, stress seems to raise the glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes directly.
Headaches. Stress is considered one of the most common triggers for headaches — not just tension headaches, but migraines as well.
Gastrointestinal problems. Here’s one thing that stress doesn’t do — it doesn’t cause ulcers. However, it can make ulcers worse. Stress is also a common factor in many other GI conditions, such as chronic heartburn (or gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Alzheimer’s disease. One animal study found that stress might worsen Alzheimer’s disease, causing its brain lesions to form more quickly. Some researchers speculate that reducing stress has the potential to slow down the progression of the disease.
Accelerated aging. There’s actually evidence that stress can affect how you age. One study compared the DNA of mothers who were under high stress — they were caring for a chronically ill child — with women who were not. Researchers found that a particular region of the chromosomes showed the effects of accelerated aging. Stress seemed to accelerate aging about 9 to 17 additional years.
Premature death. A study looked at the health effects of stress by studying elderly caregivers looking after their spouses — people who are naturally under a great deal of stress. It found that caregivers had a 63% higher rate of death than people their age who were not caregivers.
Stress Management Strategies
We all need a daily stress management routine to deal with regular everyday events.
However, if you have experienced chronic stress that is impairing your functioning or interfering with your ability to enjoy life, then more structured and focused interventions may be the solution.
We offer several types of interventions including time and organizational management strategies, healthy limits and boundaries, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy interventions that can drastically improve your sense of life satisfaction by eliminating worry, racing thoughts and feeling out of control and increasing sense of wellness and peace.
Stress Management Strategies On The Go
This informative guide is designed to take with you as a tickler to remind you that you can take control and manage stress throughout your day at work, taking care of the kids, dealing with difficult people or in any situation that generates stress.