Believe it or not, stress is the motivating factor in your life that gets you out of bed in the morning!
It should not be seen as something to be avoided or eliminated at all costs.
Rather, it should be something that should be respected and handled correctly, and in a balanced way.
In fact, everyone feels under pressure from time to time, so it is perfectly normal. However, normal doesn't necessarily mean healthy.
How Stress Affects You
When you are in, or faced with a stressful situation, the body prepares itself to either fight or flee...
It does this in several ways; stimulating the body for action – by releasing adrenalin and other chemicals and hormones into the blood stream which causes the heart to pump faster and breathing to increase. Oxygen and stored sugars and fats are released for more energy.
When you are in real, immediate physical danger, it is appropriate to feel afraid. Getting your body charged up with adrenaline may well help to keep you alive.
However, most of the time when we feel stressed, there is no immediate danger, so it is a false alarm...
The fire alarm is sounding, but there is no fire!
When the stressful situation passes, this process is reversed and the body regains its composure. However, if you are subjected to constant stress and don’t do anything about it – like regular exercise – the reversal slows down to a stop, but your muscles remain tense and ready for action and your blood pressure remains permanently raised.
Continuing muscle tension leads to digestive problems and aches andpains, and the body’s resistance to disease remains suppressed.
High stress levels not only add to psychological discomfort but are accompanied by chemical changes in the body. As described above, irritating acidic wastes accumulate in the muscle, and can linger for days and even weeks, causing pain and discomfort.
The reason for the aches and pains is that every muscle, all areas of the skin, and every nerve cell requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function properly. In fact, cells are constantly bathed in blood-soluble nutrients combined with oxygen, which combust to produce energy.
Normally most toxins (which are by-products of the cellular activity) are expelled from the tissues via the intricate capillary and lymphatic systems. But, when there is stress, the exhaust gases, toxins and waste products of this combustion are not readily expelled from the cells and remain there...
This happens because the entire vascular and lymphatic system contracts, thus causing the major blood vessels to visibly contract and smaller ones to sometimes close down completely.
The blood supply to the tissues is then reduced as the oxygen rate declines.
This causes muscles to tighten, pressing hard against the lymph and blood vessels, resulting in constriction and blocking almost all waste disposal from the surrounding tissues.
Thus, the body becomes trapped in a vicious cycle, and relaxation becomes virtually impossible as the muscles, constantly irritated from within, will not let go.
Eventually the stressed person becomes poisoned by their own toxic wastes.
To make matters worse - under stress, trapped gases, acids, and toxins keep the muscles tense. The stressed individual begins to show signs ofnervousness, becomes snappy, and has trouble concentrating. They are under constant attack from inside their own body by powerful acids and poisons. They tend to have wild mood swings and a constant barrage of aches and pains and ailments.
This imbalance in the body causes the entire organism to malfunction, creating imbalances in all the systems of the body, resulting in obesity, exhaustion, digestive disorders, circulatory disorders, depression etc.
These in turn produce their own negative effects, creating a catch-22 situation.
We could say that pressure is what is happening to you, but stress is how you react to those pressures!
How To Deal With Stress
We should be aiming for holistic health!
Balance in all aspects (physical, mental, spiritual and emotional) of our lives so that we are better able to manage life's pressures and control our reactions to stressful situations.If any of these aspects are out of sync or out of balance, the whole body will be affected.
For example, that which affects us emotionally, WILL also have a physical effect. Physical or spiritual pressures MUST affect our emotional wellness...
So what can we do to better manage the effects of stress?
There are essentially two main ways to manage stress...
1. Learn how to notice when you are becoming stressed and don't activate the stress alarm unnecessarily in the first place.
2. Learn how to interrupt the cycle and switch off the stress alarm system through various relaxation methods.
Knowing how to relax is step one in dealing with stress!...
You can't be relaxed AND uptight at the same time...
Relaxation techniques, which can be learned, tend to switch off the “flight or fight” response before the hormones are released.
Some Relaxation Techniques For You
Try the methods and see what works best for you. Or work out a winning combination that keeps you feeling cool and in control...
And share your funniest "most stressed moment" photo.
It is, however, better to learn how to avoid getting stressed in the first place...
So how do you do that?
Well, here are a few of my thoughts on the subject...
You need to take responsibility for how your life makes you feel. This is the basic premise of cognitive therapy... our feelings and behaviours are largely caused by our own thoughts...
This is oversimplified...
But the simple version of the cognitive theory is that peaceful thoughts cause relaxation and stressful thoughts cause stress.
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