Stress is not a new phenomena and even our ancient ancestors, living in caves, had to face frequent stressful situations, such as weather extremes and predators, with decisions to make about fight or flight, often on a daily basis. Stress is caused by the forces from the outside world affecting the individual and is therefore a form of energy – and that energy was necessary to fight or to flee.
Today, we always tend to think of stress as a negative thing but it can actually be neutral, negative or even positive. Stress has enabled man to adapt, evolve, survive and master all types of challenges.
Too much stress can be harmful to our health
Sometimes stress can be a good thing and through the ages, the species that adapted best to the causes of stress have survived and evolved into the plant and animal kingdoms we now know. Man is obviously the biggest survivor of all (from stress) when we consider how the numbers just keep on growing.
How to know if you are severely stressed?
Here are some signs and symptoms
- Sleep disturbance.
- Muscle tension.
- Gastrointestinal disturbances.
- Nervousness and anxiety.
- Changes in eating habits – this could be over eating, binge eating or no appetite at all.
- Loss of enthusiasm or energy.
- Mood changes.
- Excessive use of alcohol, tobacco and/or drugs.
Top 10 tips to relieve the stress
is one of the best ways to help manage stress.
and relaxation techniques are very beneficial.
3. Keep alcohol
to a minimum and cut out all drug and tobacco use as these substances, as well as becoming addictive and a crutch, can sensitize the stress response.
4. Be very wary of pharmaceutical prescription drugs
as some of these can be counter productive in dealing with stress.
5. Everyone needs a break
from their everyday working situation – it can be a walk in your lunch break,
a relaxing weekend or a regular vacation away from home. At the same time, think about your vitamin D levels.
Sunlight and supplements are the keys.
6. Be creative in putting together structures and routine both in your home and your work life so that you know what to expect. This can help you to cope better if and when the “unexpected” happens.
7. Consider natural headache remedies
and remedies for insomnia
8. On the subject of insomnia
, ensure a good night's sleep as this will go a long way to ensure your body and mind are in good shape. Melatonin is vital to ensure good sleeping habits and as it is only produced during darkness, ensure your room is darkened at bedtime. During the day, light stimulates that part of the brain that tells the pineal gland to decrease the melatonin level when it is daytime and light, and to increase it when it is night time and dark. If you find it difficult to sleep without some light, reduce any light source gradually to improve both the quality of your sleep and the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep.
9. If you are overextended
in your work life, your home life or even your community life, you need to take a step or two back and re-consider your schedule, drastically.
10. What you put into your body in the form of food for fuel
is vital. Many people in stressful situations turn to junk or fast food for convenience and even instant gratification. Now more than ever, you need good whole foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
And if you cannot do it on your own
Although stress is a normal part of life and we can either let it help us learn and grow or we can allow it to cause more significant problems. But even with the best intentions of yourself or those around you, stress can become overwhelming. Then you need to seek help – not from your doctor – but from a stress management expert, a mental health counselor a specialist clinic or a naturopath.
Such experts are hopefully trained to help, to listen and to advise and should only prescribe when there is no other way.Media
Unresolved, chronic stress levels can lead to
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Some cancers and
- Premature aging
Uncontrollable, unpredictable and constant stress has far reaching consequences on our physical and mental health. Remember too that women have twice the rate of depression and anxiety disorders compared to men.