Stress is a funny thing. Stress can motivate you to achieve more than you believed possible. Stress can also ruin your health and sometimes even your life.
How stress affects you Depends on your quantity of stress and what kinds of stress you have. It can also depend on what kinds of stress you’ve had in your past and how you learned to deal with it.
The physical signs of stress are supposed to help you survive – fight or flight. In the modern world, this is very rarely any help. Most stress today is psychological.
Psychological stress will come from issues such as concern about money, relationships, and your health. Your body’s physical reaction to stress does not help these situations. Since these situations are common and long-lasting, your body can potentially be in a constant state of stress.
This is what causes stress related health problems as varied as headaches, insomnia, trouble thinking clearly, depression and digestion problems. Health problems from stress eventually just increases the stress you already have.
Common sense tells you that managing your stress is important. There are all kinds of people and companies that will offer advice, products and services to help your stress. If every option worked the same for everyone, that would not be a problem. But, we’re all different. What works for your friend, may not work for you.
Finding the right choice for yourself is easier when you are more aware of what causes your stress and how you experience it.
It can be helpful to decide of your stress is situational or behavioral – Is your stress reaction appropriate for the current situation or does it feel blown out of proportion? Figuring this out can require some brutal honesty on your part.
If your stress is situational, what are the situations and can they dealt with in a practical way? Do you have the time and energy to get some form of exercise and a proper diet? (I know from personal experience, if I have high stress, it is when my life is too busy to work-out or get to the grocery store for planned meals. That’s when I need to slow down.)
If your stress is behavioral, spending some time analyzing the triggers may help. Look at your past and see if it is making your stress higher than it should be. Stressful memories of the past can and do effect us every day. (The stronger the emotion, the more vivid the memory. The more vivid the memory, the stronger the stress you will continue to feel from it.)
After getting a better understanding of your stress, you will have a better idea of how to manage it.
Situational stress is easier to figure out and will eventually be behind you. Behavioral stress may require outside help to get through. But, it IS possible, and IS worth accomplishing.
Seek professional help. Medication is sometimes an answer, but many people that have used medication for stress, experience side effects that affect their enjoyment of life. They often say they don’t know which is worse, to be on the medication or to be stressed.
Research your options and educate yourself about them. Then, find what works for you and do it. When it comes to improving your life, the only poor choice is to not try.