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How Does Stress Affect Health
With our lives being as sedentary as they are excessive stress is the ultimate 21st century disease. Here we look at stress, stress management and stress reduction in detail. But most importantly how does stress affect health.
What is stress?
The definition of stress is our mind and body placed under difficulty or strain. When this happens we have stress hormones released in our bodies so we can change the impending situation for our benefit and survival.
Only the situation is now not a saber toothed tiger but bad news or events. Our bodies have not evolved enough to realize that today's stressor's are not life threatening. This is the reason that excessive stress can have such a devastating effect on us. So how does stress affect health.
Causes of stress
You could say that we are continually stressed. When crossing the street our bodies tell us to be more attentive. Even when hearing bad news the stress it puts us under has a benefit in that we are compelled to do something about the situation.
It is actually our individual perception of stress that causes the problem. We can either react with excitation or depreciation. By that we can either do something about the stressor or let it get us down then how does stress affect health.
With multiple stresses this become more and more difficult. It's allowing problems to continually get the better of us that excessive stress occurs. When this happens over a period there can be "tell tale" symptoms the sufferer can have.
Physical symptoms due to stress can come and go. Some of these may appear gradually over time or all of a sudden. If you are experiencing a lot of stress in your life and you have some of these symptoms then it would be a good idea to asses the situation for your own health. For you have the anbswer to how does stress affect health.
These are more difficult to detect than physical symptoms and will be more obvious to those around the sufferer. Ask someone close to you if these symptoms have recently occurred.
How to deal with stress we are already facing whether it's dealing with 3 young children at the same time or decision making in a demanding job. Here are some stress management tips:
Take a break... Take time out to relax. Every hour or so get yourself away from a situation and just take 10 minutes or so to completely relax.
Be optimistic...Look on the bright side as every cloud really does have a silver lining. Always find a positive viewpoint to an event then move on.
Learn to say "no"...Be more assertive as there are only so many hours in the day. Feel free to decline a request, you don't have to do anything you don't want to and you can't do everything for everyone.
Delegate...Trust that there are people who are competent at doing a job not just you. There is usually a team for a reason so delegate some work to distribute some of that stress.
Organize your time... Write a "to do" list to structure your day, then you can easily see what needs to be done and allow yourself a set period of time for the task.
Prioritize... Some things are more important than others so put it off no longer and do it first. When it's done there's one less thing to worry about.
Move on...Don't dwell on bad news you can do nothing about. It's far better to worry about something you have the power to change so move on and deal with the issues that matter.
There are things you can do to reduce the impact stressful events have on you and reduce how does stress affect health. Here are stress reduction tips:
Exercise...The stress hormones were designed with physical exertion in mind. So exercise will use up the stress hormones in your body making new stresses easier to deal with. It's also a useful distraction and very good for your general wellbeing.
Reduce stimulant intake...Stimulants are everywhere including tea, coffee, cola, pain medications, flu medications etc. You can deal with stress far better if you are less stimulated with these man made substances.
Eat a balanced diet...Eat less simple carbs like sugars and go for complex cereals and bread. Ensure you have no vitamin & mineral deficiencies as they can affect your ability to deal with stress.
Express yourself...A problem shared really is a problem halved. You might find that something isn't as stressful as you first thought after you've got someone else's opinion.
Schedule fun days... Give yourself something to look forward to where stress can take a back seat.
Reward yourself...Give yourself credit for your achievements. Recognize your accomplishments and feel good about them.
Keep tidy... A tidy home or office will make stressful days far easier to deal with and keeps your mind tidy as well.
Reduce alcohol intake... Deal with stressful events and don't try to drown them out. Think about dealing with the situation not a way to avoid it.
Start a hobby... Give a stressed mind something to think about by beginning an enjoyable past time or hobby.
Pamper yourself...Male or female a good spa & massage can really take your mind off the stresses of the day.
How does stress affect health overall
When stress gets so bad that coping is a struggle then feel free to seek medical help, even if it's just someone to talk to. To leave excessive stress untreated can be dangerous, many accidents can be attributed to stress. So it is important to be aware if things are getting on top of you, for your own safety and the safety of those around you.
Stress really isn't going to go away tomorrow but there are things we can do to help ourselves deal with it better. It really does seem that just taking a 10 minute break every so often to relax on a stressful day really can make a big difference. So try it for yourself and see if it works for you.