People used to refer to the word or phrase of the state of their ‘nerves’ rather than the word ‘stress’.
It was Walter Cannon who actually developed the term stress in his work relating to the flight-or-flight response in 1932.
In research terms stress now embraces biochemical, behavioural, physiological and psychological effects.
Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you, and many things that you do yourself, put stress on your body.
You can experience stress from your environment, your body and your thoughts and other people’s responses to you!
Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. So, your child is taking forever to get dressed for school, you get mentally agitated about the amount of time that is ticking away before school starts; this causes an emotional stress or tension which then leads one to feel physically irritated, and physically uptight, or tense, or worse still getting angry/shouting or in the worst case, physically aggressive. i.e. manhandling little Johnny into the car in a desperate attempt to get him in to school on time! Not ideal but let’s face it…..many of us have done it.
Whilst a member of my family once said many moons ago, there is nothing that cannot be resolved or dealt with after a bracing walk in fresh air, it isn’t always practical or easy to do. You cannot walk out on a confused older parent without causing further upset or confusion as to the reason for your absence, and a crying 6 month old will not take kindly to your absence while you go for a short gander around the south coast pathway!
I can assure you the major congestion caused today by one man’s unwillingness to reverse back a little on a ridiculously busy country lane and allow 6 cars to pass him was the root cause of a lot of stress or a testing of the nerves for many that caused a few expletives that turned the air blue this morning in Dorset. It was only 9.30 am too!
How does stress affect health?
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping you alert and ready to avoid danger. Think of crossing a road and seeing an oncoming car speeding towards you. Stress helps you move out of the way….fast.
Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. This can start to overwork and destroy the poor adrenal glands in your body. Thiss is bad news. They take a long time to become exhausted. They take much longer to repair. Usually a lot of financial investment using herbs is required!
Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress, a negative stress reaction.
Notice that De-stress is to move towards relaxation and Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and restless nights.
Women may tend to cry a bit more whereas men may tend to get angry although there is NO hard and fast rule here.
Stress also becomes harmful when people turn to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try to relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.
10.4 million working days are lost each year due to stress.
Symptoms can be vague and may be the same as those caused by medical conditions. It is advised that people talk to their doctor but whilst many will pay their GP a visit many more will look elsewhere if anti-depressants are all that is on offer.
I used to believe a chance to talk to someone highly trained in Psychology, completely unknown and therefore neutral would be far more advantageous. This works for some. I now believe that someone trained in NLP (Neuro Linguistic practitioner ) or a Cognitive behavioural therapist can produce good ,safe and faster results to assist people suffering with stress. However, let’s remember that everyone will know someone who has had a good or a bad experience with any number of assorted practitioners.
Physical symptoms of stress include:
But there are some really simple things that can help. Body posture changes when we are stressed, we can hunch over, head in hand, rubbing our forehead, wringing our hands, short shallow breaths.
So try this: stand up now, place your hands on your hips and your legs apart, chin right up in the air towards the ceiling, take a deep breath, breathe out and now raise your arms in a V shape up to the heavens and take an even deeper breath. Do 5-10 deep breaths, throw in a couple of yawns for good measure, still keeping your chin heaven wards. When you sit down again, it is strange how different you can feel in just a few minutes. It may not work doing this at the bus stop or in your boss’s office but you can find somewhere private to try it out!
A really good multi vitamin B complex tablet is a must in this day and age and like the Nature’s Sunshine Products range. They produce an excellent Vitamin B’s complex tablet called NUTRICALM. Works for me.
Water +++ is ESSENTIAL. No if’s or buts. Essential.
A reduction in Coffee and tea
A plan of something to look forward to in the future.
Learn about EFT or have someone help you with this technique.
A good girlfriend to chat through things and hear you out.
A knowing that nothing stays the same for ever, everything changes and what seems terrible at the moment is soon forgotten about a little while later.
Which is very good news for my “relationship manager” at my bank because if he carries on being a plonker, I am sure I may get stressed!!!
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing