We have a determined serial killer amongst us……STRESS!
Scouring through the internet it seems that stress is difficult for scientists to define because it is subjective and differs for each one of us. What may be stressful to one person may very well be enjoyable to another. Also the way we physically react to stress differs too; some people eat less while others eat more, others lose their hair whereas some like myself get acne and blisters.
Below are but a few physical as well as emotional responses to stress:
- Frequent headaches or pain
- Insomnia, nightmares
- Teeth grinding
- Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
- Stuttering or stammering
- Lack of concentration and difficulty in retaining new information
- Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
- Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
- Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
- Little interest in appearance and punctuality
- Increased frustration, irritability, apprehension
- Reduced work efficiency or productivity
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Depression, frequent or severe mood swings
- Excessive gambling or impulse buying
I am going through a very stressful time to the point where I may lose my home and have personally experienced at least three of the above. My overall health and fitness has been so effected, at times I find breathing difficult. So how am I managing my current stress?
First thing I did was to ‘talk’. I’m fortunate enough to have a mother, brother and a few wonderful positive friends that I can turn to for good sound advice and talk about how to deal with my problems. Perhaps it’s because I’m a woman or perhaps I don’t feel embarrassed to cry but when talking I am very open about my feelings and right now I feel very much like a wounded animal. Those close to me are so encouraging and comforting, I find their words soothing and their kindness like a warm blanket.
Another way I am managing my stress is focusing more on spiritual matters on a daily basis. Spirituality is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea or coffee but for me I have found it very therapeutic and helps reduces my anxiety.
Another way is by keeping up with my fitness, which essentially burns away the chemicals that cause stress such as cortisol and norepinephrine. If my fitness is vigorous it will release endorphins into my system. Other chemicals like dopamine and serotonin will also be released in my brain during exercise. Together, these will give a feeling of safety and security that contributes to off-setting some of the “internal” causes of stress, such as uncertainty and negative self-talk.
It’s important to keep at the forefront of my mind that exercise will have a profound effect how I feel about myself. If I feel good about me, my self confidence will receive a boost and stress due to feelings of inadequacy will reduce as a result. It will not only make me healthier but regular exercise will also cut down on stress and anxiety and their associated symptoms.
Did you know…
…that exercise can also have a meditative effect during sustained cardiovascular work outs. A cardiovascular workout such as running on the open road or treadmill can relax and clear the mind. Clearing the mind allows for a fresh approach to perplexing and stressful problems.
If you too are feeling stress and have one of the physical as well as emotional responses to stress then you will be pleased to know you are not alone and I hope my personal ways of managing stress of benefit to you.
If you have any questions to ask regarding stress and ways to manage it, send your email to email@example.com