Stress and anxiety are constant companions for most us in modern times. We can’t escape them. Constant and overbearing stress is incredibly detrimental to our physical, mental and emotional health. It also affects our behaviour and a lot of people are no strangers to burning out – taking care of family situations or at work.
Unfortunately a lot of warning signs go unnoticed or simply ignored in favor of »I’ll-work-through-it« mentality.
We need to juggle a lot of different forms of stress in our lives but most of them you may not even notice, don’t know they affect you or may not even know they exist! Educating yourself on different types of stress will help you understand the process and effects of stress. Take your time to think about it carefully, as these stress types affect you tremedously. Think about how you react to stressful situations and stressful people. This way you’ll come to understand yourselves better and get the help you need dealing with stress.
Types of stress:
○ environmental (pollution, radiation, noise, temperature extremes, electromagnetic fields, toxins, etc.),
○ physical (overworking oneself, excess exercise, chemicals, eaitng losts of junk food, accidents, surgery, etc.),
○ biological (illnesses, allergies, pain, chronic diseases, hormone changes, aging, malnutrition, etc.),
○ sociological (marriage, moving, work,daily hassels, caring for an ill loved one, loss, financial worries, birth, death, etc.),
○ psychological (anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, negative thoughts, depression, sadness, grief, etc.).
Stress creates a variety of health problems and most of them have long-lasting effect in following areas:
○ heart (increased blood pressure, fast heart beat, increased risk of heart attack, stroke and high cholesterol),
○ stomach (food allergies, peptic ulcer disease, reflux, stomach cramps, nausea and weight flactulations),
○ intestines (decreased nutrient absorption, slow and reduced metabolism, decreased enzymatic output,
increased risk for inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes and more),
○ pancreas (results in elevated secretions of insulin which can lead to diabetes, damaged and obesity),
○ immune system (suppressed effectiveness of the immune system to battle and recover from illness,
high levels of inflammation in the body and variety of chronic health conditions),
○ joints and muscles (aches and pains, inflammation, tension, lowered bone density
which can lead to osteoporosis, tightness in the shoulders and back),
○ skin (skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, random breakouts and skin rashes),
○ reproductive system (decreased testosterone and estradiol (estrogene hormone) production
leading to reduced fertility, dampening of sexual behaviour and loss of sexual drive).
As you can see, stress is the underlying cause of a lot of illnesses and MUST be controlled and dealt with otherwise so many problems we just mentioned become recurring or chronic. And that’s only physical health. What about our mental health? Stress, especially long-term one, can cause a variety of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety and in extreme cases even psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder.
And what about anxiety? Anxiety is a mental and physical reaction to perceived threats and is often (but not always) the result of stress. In small doses, anxiety can be helpful and protect us from danger and focuses our attention on problems. But when anxiety is too severe and occurs too frequently it becomes debilitating.
Symptoms of strong anxiety are uncontrollable worry, poor concentration, needing constant reassurance, excessive nervousness, panic attacks, increased heart rate, procrastrination, sleep problems, overthinking, upset stomach and memory issues.
Yes, we live in a hectic world. It seems everyone is juggling family, work, school, and any number of other things. It’s hard to find time to catch your breath amid all the hustle and bustle. If your life is a series of running from one task to the next, then it’s time you stopped and practiced a little self-care.
Unfortunately, that is the one thing that most people find extremely difficult to do.
Self-care is so important and one of the most underdeveloped, neglected habits and that can lead to burnout, depression, anxiety, and stress related conditions. Whether you are a student, parent, caregiver, or professional, you need to take time out of each day to be good to yourself.
The main reason that self-care is so difficult to work into our schedule is time. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of your to do list, much less take care of yourself.
While lack of time is certainly a significant factor, there’s another, deeper issue here – guilt. Many people feel that taking some time for themselves is indulgent, even selfish. This is a skewed way of thinking, but all too common.
Most people do not want to be self-centered, selfish, or even narcissistic or appear that way to others so they go to great lengths to avoid that perception.
The problem with that is, they eventually burn out.
Know this. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be any good for anyone or anything else in your life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with self-love and carving out some time for yourself is healthy and necessary.
Personal growth goes hand-in-hand with self-care. You might have come across the term personal growth and wondered what it means. Personal growth is also called self-improvement and self-growth.
Personal growth can be
○ learning to control anger,
○ becoming a more responsible person,
○ learning to overcome procrastination,
○ learning new things and developing new skills,
○ learning to overcome laziness,
○ educating yourself further by formal or non-formal education,
○ learning to be more polite and considerate,
○ changing your mindset and becoming more positive.