Stress Management and Your Health
Stress is part of everyday life. It is also one of the leading causes of health problems for
many people. Stress affects not only a person's emotions but also their bodily responses. When you have changes in
your life, you become fearful and frightened. When you are stressed, you have negative thoughts, feelings, and
ideas. It creates distance between you and your family, your friends, and your co-workers. It can cause you to
neglect your responsibilities. It can lead to dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Persistent or chronic stress can create anxiety and can lead to depression and other emotional
problems. When you are constantly under stress, the body increases its level of stress hormones such as adrenaline
and cortisol. It has not been scientifically proven that stress is a cause of depression but environmental factors
can contribute to depression.
Each person is different in their temperament and emotional make-up. The factors which may cause
stress in one person may be different for another person. Therefore, generalizations cannot be made. There are ways
you can reduce and sometimes alleviate stress factors. There are a number of programs available. However, the first
step is to recognize that you are under stress and then to seek help.
Every day is filled with challenges you have to deal with. It could be your job, your children, bills, school, medical conditions, and so on. Chronic stress, if not
relieved, can lead to medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and strokes and can lead
to depression. You need to deal with your stress so that it does not control you.
Some individuals can use stress to motivate themselves to achieve goals. This is known as eustress or positive stress. For
others, it is overwhelming and if the underlying cause does not go away, each day becomes worse. When you are
feeling pressured, you should take one task at a time and resolve it. Turning to alcohol or drugs does not
resolve the problem. It's still there when the effects wear off.
Your body responds to stress by creating tension. Your neck and shoulders get tight. You have
headaches which don't go away after you take an aspirin. If the stress is truly overwhelming, you lose sleep. Your
body needs REM sleep. It relieves stress and is a natural coping mechanism. You can also try getting
atherapeutic massage, either from a licensed professional or a hi-tech electric massage chair.
You have to determine what is causing your stress before you can manage it. When you are
experiencing the side effects of stress, your ability to function is inhibited.