We always here people saying, “I’m so stressed out!” But what is stress and what causes stress? Is it harmful? Can it cause a negative impact on us and disrupt our daily life?
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. First of all stress doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. I believe without stress, or without feeling stress, humankind would have just lived in a comfortable, stress-free and slow moving society; we would have not succeed if stress wasn’t a feeling that exists. Humankind would have not have the urge or stressed to develop, and grow or evolve. The big BUT and downside of feeling stress if it gets a out of hand and too overwhelming until it freezes the whole bodily function and causes anxiety attacks.
Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action. This causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.
The challenge is when our body goes into a state of stress in inappropriate situations. When blood flow is going only to the most important muscles needed to fight or flee, brain function is minimized. This can lead to an inability to ‘think straight’; a state that is a great hindrance in both our work and home lives. If we are kept in a state of stress for long periods, it can be detrimental to our health. The results of having elevated cortisol levels can be an increase in sugar and blood pressure levels, and a decrease in libido.
There are three (3) known states the body goes into when overcome by stress;
When your body goes into a state of stress, we may feel agitated and aggressive towards others; this can be due to our bodies’ natural reaction being “fight”. This can be a helpful reaction to ward off predators, but in unnecessary situations, it can negatively affect relationships and ruin reputations.
Some of us avoid our stressors, removing ourselves from the situation instead of tackling it. This can be a sign of the “flight” survival instinct; a function that can save our lives if we find ourselves in dangerous surroundings. However, in everyday life, this natural instinct can lead to a stressful situation escalating, and increase our stress levels when we realise that the stressor isn’t going away and we need to face it.
Unknown by many, there is a third mode that stress can cause; freeze. For some people, becoming stressed sets the stage for ‘dysregulation’. The energy mobilized by the perceived threat gets “locked” into the nervous system and we ‘freeze’. This response sometimes reveals itself when we breathe. Holding our breath and shallow breathing are both forms of freeze. The occasional deep sigh is the nervous system catching up on its oxygen intake.
So you see, there are the good and the bad streak of being stressed. When overcome by stress, it is best to sit down, inhale and try to relax. If you are constantly stressed and it disrupts your daily routine, then you might have a problem that needs fixing before it gets out of hand. Or try making a change to your lifestyle, for example;
- Avoid or reduce the intake of drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that increases your level of stress rather than reducing it. Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Therefore using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is not ultimately helpful.
- When you feel stressed and tense, go for a brisk walk in fresh air. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work, or at lunchtime. Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.
- You should also aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day so that your mind and body get used to a predictable bedtime routine.
- Each day, try to relax with a stress reduction technique. There are many tried and tested ways to reduce stress so try a few and see what works best for you.
- Stress can cloud your judgement and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.
- At times, we all feel overburdened by our ‘To Do’ list and this is a common cause of stress. Accept that you cannot do everything at once and start to prioritize and manage your tasks.
- A common cause of stress is having too much to do and too little time in which to do it. And yet in this situation, many people will still agree to take on additional responsibility. Learning to say “No” to additional or unimportant requests will help to reduce your level of stress, and may also help you develop more self-confidence.
Shaklee can help aid your goal to a stress-free and breezey cruise through your daily task. The products responsible to help you feel at ease and relief your stress are;
- B Complex – Provides energy, enhance focus and relief stress.
- OmegaGuard – Promotes a healthy brain
For more info on products to help heal and relief you of your burden from everyday tasks, contact Mommy J for a free consultation and to get the best stress-free deals and prices in town!
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