“Stress is the adaptive response to demands or pressures placed upon an individual which results in a disturbance of that person’s physical or emotional well-being”.
What is stress? Physical stress can cause any of these reactions: Increased heartbeat, raised blood pressure, rapid shallow breathing, increased sweating, tense muscles, dry mouth, frequency of urination, feeling sick.
Our behaviour changes if we are under constant stressful pressure. This can be seen as various signs such as talking too much, displaying signs such as twitching and fiddling, being irritable, defensive, aggressive, irritated, critical and may overreact to situations. A person may become forgetful, make a lot of mistakes, become very negative about everything, and may even neglect their own personal hygiene and appearance.
Other symptoms associated with stress:
• high blood pressure • chest pains • tiredness • insomnia • indigestion
• headaches • migraine • argumentative • less friendly towards others • withdrawn • avoiding friends and family • lose creativity • work longer but achieve less • be reluctant to do a job properly • procrastination • loss of sense of humour • feelings of failure • lack of self-esteem • cynical and bitter attitude • unreasonable jealousy of others • conflict at home and at work • apathy • resistance to change • suspicious
• poor concentration • wanting to leave job or end relationship • feeling tired all the time • poor sleep patterns • prolonged minor illnesses resulting in frequent absences from work • suffer from backache and general aches and pains • hyperventilation • palpitations • fear of rejection
If you remain under stress, it becomes a long term condition leading too further physical issues such as back pain, headaches, aches and pains, excessive tiredness, digestive disorders, frequent colds and infections, skin eruptions, asthma.
When the body is subjected to long-term stress, the mind is unable to think clearly and rationally about everyday situations. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, panic, worry, confusion, and feeling out of control or overwhelmed, restlessness, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impatience, depression and mood swings.
People suffering from long term stress often have health problems such as circulatory disorders, depression and even suicidal tendencies. They may feel lethargic, apathetic, cannot sleep, have little or no appetite or comfort eat, take excessive medication, drink and smoke to excess and have a reduced sex drive. It can lead to lack of personal care.
How to help yourself. First evaluate where your stress is coming from:
Death of loved one
Lack of nutritious food
Sometimes we blame others, because we can’t handle our reactions to our stresses. It does not help if we are told to get a grip, belittled, told there is no such thing as stress, pull yourself together and similar. This adds to the stress and makes it worse. Try the three step start to being in control of your own life.
Step one: Take Vitamin C – this is like Rescue Remedy for the adrenal glands. 1000mg a day of a good brand such as Higher Nature, Buffered Vitamin C (Calcium Ascorbate) Powder or Immune + Powerful immune support with vitamin C and zinc, or my favourite Fizzy C, free from artificial sweeteners.
Step two: Book time off. If your job is the issue, what can do you do to change things? When we are too close to a situation we go on autopilot, that is why time out is so important. We can get an overview of life and what really matters, then make decisions that support us.
Step three: Start doing something fun with your family or your friends. It could be an exercise class, swimming, dancing, joining a community choir, taking up a hobby, going for walks – just something to make your feel glad to be alive. Reduce your time on handheld gadgets, the phone, tablet etc. They actually add to the stress, and being addictive, we feel drawn to using them more and more and to habits such as smoking or vaping. It’s not necessarily a sign of boredom, it can be a sign of us trying to relax, but does not really work. Things like walking a dog, enjoying a garden or park, volunteering or walking on soft warm sand in bare feet are much better!