Sunday, July 8, 2007

Stress Will Rule Your Life If You Allow It

Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, but how do you know when it's hit a danger point in your life? Feeling a bit anxious, or stressed, when you're trying to meet an important deadline at work, or when you have to stand up and give a speech at the PTA, is completely normal. But when you begin to feel overwhelmed by life's most ordinary tasks, too much stress may be the culprit.

Experiencing chronic anxiety is never good for the body. When the body can't stop itself from releasing the chemicals and hormones associated with the natural fight or flight mode severe stress and its often-debilitating symptoms may occur.

Stress can affect the body physically, emotionally and even behaviorally. Some dangers signs to watch out for include:

Emotional Distress.
When you find your emotions running rampant, it may be time to evaluate the stressors in your life. Sudden mood swings, unexplained anxiety, difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, trouble concentrating, and even excess worry and feeling tense all of the time, are all danger signs of stress.

Behavioral Signs.
Do you find yourself overreacting at the slightest things? Do you act on impulse or withdraw from relationships with friends, family, or even your co-workers? Are you using drugs or alcohol more lately than ever before? It could be that the stresses in your life are beginning to have a negative impact on the way you handle the pressures around you.

Physical Symptoms.
Stress can have a huge negative effect on a person's overall health and well-being. When stress begins to build up over time, with little or no release, anxiety can turn inward, causing both annoying physical complaints such as headaches, tense muscles and tiredness, to more severe ailments including chest pain, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes, among others. Stress overload has even been linked to an increased risk of some cancers.

Once a person begins to exhibit these danger signs, chances are stress has already begun to impact their lives in a negative way. They may be already feeling overwhelmed, chronically tired, or have a list of more serious health complaints.

Depression too has been linked to chronic stress, especially for those with a family history of the disease. Special care should be taken when the stressors in life begin to impact you so greatly that chronic feelings of sadness ensue. Depression, like stress, can be treated with medication and therapy and should never be ignored.

Stress has a place in everyone's life. It is an excellent source of power and can help us to overcome great obstacles and face emergencies with clarity and focus. Too much, however, can turn us inward, strip our confidence, and overwhelm us so greatly that we are unable to complete even the most simple tasks. Stress can make us stronger, or it can deplete us of our reserves, leaving us exhausted and overwhelmed. Learning how to recognize when you're experiencing too much stress, and finding ways to better deal with it are essential to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

By: Matthew Hick

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