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Is Your Stress Harmful?

Is Your Stress Harmful?

Does your untreated and constant stress negatively effect your brain and body?

Physical Disorders Related to Stress Emotional Disorders Related to Stress
  • Coronary heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart attack.
  • Hypertension.
  • Diabetes.
  • Ulcers.
  • Allergies.
  • Asthma.
  • Rheumatism, arthritis.
  • Colitis.
  • Chronic bronchitis.
  • Sinus problems.
  • Sexual dysfunctions.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Depression.
  • Suicide.
  • Violent anger.
  • Irrational thinking.

Since the American Medical Association has determined that most of the diseases experienced by Americans is stress related, it is important to take a look at what diseases are directly related to stress. These diseases can either be physical in nature or can be emotional disorders. Take a look at the list of diseases below and determine if you might have any of these diseases and whether they may be stress induced. If you think stress may be a factor, then starting a stress reduction program may extend your life.

Stress Warning Signals

Many of us may not consider stress as a factor in the things that are causing us discomfort. Yet, it is a proven fact that many of the stress warning signs listed below are a good indication that it is time to consider developing a stress management plan. Look at the physical and emotional signs listed below and see if you may not be suffering from many of the things that are directly stress related. If you discover you are in fact experiencing items on the list, a stress management plan may give you as measure of relief.

How Do You Know When You Are Under Stress?

Physical signs of short-term stress: Emotional signs of short-term stress:
  • Headaches.
  • Backaches.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Insomnia.
  • Oversleeping.
  • collision proneness.
  • Dryness of mouth.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Fluttering eyelids.
  • Cold hands.
  • “Butterflies”.
  • Eyestrain.
  • Gritted teeth.
  • Indigestion.
  • Excessive preoccupation with ideas of people.
  • Increase in tardiness.
  • Difference in productivity.
  • Crying episodes.
  • Sudden angry outbursts.
  • Mood swings.
  • Change in grooming habits.
  • Withdrawal, isolation from relationships.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Depression (the “blues and blahs”).

How To “De-Stress” Yourself

  • Break the pressure cycle. Push back your chair; take a few deep breaths. Walk out of the room, especially if you feel the pressure building to the bursting point.
  • Take a few minutes to daydream. Far from being irrelevant and insubstantial, fantasy and daydreams may be the foundation of serenity and purpose in our lives.
  • Caught in traffic? Don’t lean on the horn. Change radio stations. Discuss something other than the traffic with a passenger. Stretch, and if it is safe, get out and stretch.
  • Set priorities. Which job has top priority today? Which can wait until tomorrow or be put off until next week? Most important, which can be delegated?
  • Instead of spending lunchtime rehashing job worries and gripes with fellow workers, take a walk, run, or if you can, find a swimming pool and take a swim.
  • Take notes for a week of what upsets you. Just jot down each incident when it occurs. You may see a pattern emerging, which can help get you out of the rut of constant frustration.
  • Reset your clock. Do you have to go to do the weekly shopping when the stores are most crowded? Must you ride to and from work at the peak of the rush hours? (Some people have no choice, but others, if they talk it over with their boss, might find they could arrive at work and leave one hour earlier or one hour later for easier travel.)
  • Take time for yourself. Some people take 20 minutes twice a day to meditate. Some, shut their bedroom or office door to read or take a nap. Some sit in a church, walk through an art gallery, or browse in a store. It may require you switching days with your spouse or significant other, so at least every other day you are able to spend time alone.
  • Be nice to someone. It helps get rid of your, “free floating hostility.” Say a smiling “thank you” to a salesperson (even if he or she is grumpy). Tell a friend how attractive he or she looks. Praise an employee.
  • Calmly speak up for yourself. You don’t have to be browbeaten. Dr. Hans Selye, world renowned stress authority, wrote, “Man…cannot tolerate constant censure, for that is what, more than any other stressor makes work frustrating and harmful.”
  • Decide if it’s time to say, “I quit.” Perhaps it is, before your stress laden body quits instead.
  • Become positively addicted to some activity that you enjoy.