Whether you currently believe that you work well under stress or are already uncomfortable with the level of stress you are currently under, it is essential that you do something about it.
Symptoms Check List
- Increased irritability
- Heightened sensitivity to criticism
- Signs of tension i.e. nail biting
- Difficulty getting to sleep/over sleeping
- Drinking and smoking more
- Indigestion/Weight issues
- Loss of concentration
- Fearful of the future
- Muscle Pains
- Panic attacks
- Heart Palpitations with or without panic attacks
- Dizziness or feeling faint with or without panic attacks
- Feeling desperate
The most important thing to know is that all these symptoms can all be overcome, no matter what you are dealing with in life. What will your life be like when you become YOU again?
What is Stress?
Stress in itself is not an illness. It is a response or reaction to excessive or prolonged pressure and challenges that can cause stress-related mental or physical ill health. Modern phenomenon, ‘being stressed’ is the result of one body system overworking. ‘Being stressed’ is simply the result of one system (the stress response) doing too much and the other system (natural relaxation) not being used enough. Lazurus defines stress as ‘a condition or feeling experienced when a person percieves that the demands placed on them exceed the resources the individual has available’
Our body’s stress response works like a car alarm. It is designed to keep us safe by alerting us to the presence of danger in our immediate environment. Instead of using a noise, our internal alarm system lets us know that something is wrong by creating changes in our neurochemistry. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) pumps extra cortisol and adrenaline into our heart, and extra blood and oxygen to our arms and legs for the ‘fight or flight’ reaction that allows us to challenge or escape danger.
We can’t live without it because it would be impractical and dangerous – like walking through the jungle without any fear signal in the presence of predatory animals. However, if the alarm goes off too often or too easily, not only do we stop paying attention to it, but it begins to have a negative impact on our health and our lives. It should be balanced by the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps you to ‘rest and digest’ – your blood pressure drops and the food in your system begins to digest.
This ‘natural relaxation’ is soft, calm feeling you get in your muscles when you have finished a heavy work out or vigorous movement. You feel a natural high caused by the release of endorphins, the body’s natural opiates. It would be virtually impossible to function if that’s how you felt all the time, so both systems work together.