Ask yourself, what’s between you and feeling happy and calm?
For many people, it’s being caught up in tension and stress — which gets in the way of feeling at peace.
If you are like most people, keeping up with the demands of life has stopped you from having a life.
You are carried away by a horde of conflict and concerns.
Have you been overwhelmed by our modern lifestyles?
You commit to too much, and you want to be all things to all people.
You are stretched too thin.
How do you feel?
You are feeling stressed out!
But do you know the causes of stress?
And do you know the signs and symptoms of stress?
Before we get into that, let me restate that stress, in small doses, isn’t all bad.
In fact, it can be a good thing. Stress helps us overcome obstacles. Some people work well under pressure — they are motivated by a challenge.
Positive stress (in small doses) can motivate you. It can focus your energy and enhance your ability to thrive in whatever your environment.
Stress becomes a problem when...
The human body is continually working to keep balance. Your body can recover quickly from positive stress, but with chronic stress, your body cannot maintain stability because the intensity or frequency of stress exceeds its capacity to cope.
Why is chronic stress so bad?
Chronic stress chokes the life right out you — it creeps up on you at first, but then like a bomb it drops.
Chronic stress suppresses your immune system and memory. It promotes bone and mineral loss, muscle wasting and metabolic syndrome.
Are you in alarm mode?
When your body perceives a stressor, you immediately go into alarm reactions.
Alarm reactions ultimately lead to the production of a hormone called cortisol.
Too many alarm reactions can cause too many cortisol productions, and when cortisol production is too high, for too long, numerous health problems follow.
For instance, this might occur with the death of a loved one, followed by a divorce, coupled with legal, financial problems, and illness.
In these cases, you may not be able to adapt because the intensity of the stress you experience is too destructive.
Typically, you will not react to the actual stressor; it is the symptoms of stress that gets your attention.
Symptoms Of Stress
According to many studies, stress is now the most significant cause of illness in developed countries. Many experts have concluded that signs and symptoms of stress can be split into four categories:
- Cognitive symptoms
- Physical symptoms
- Emotional symptoms
- Behavioral symptoms
WebMD advises that…
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy.
- Acid reflux, and upset stomach.
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles.
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat.
- Frequent colds and infections.
- Loss of sexual desires
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling depressed.
- Poor focus and concentration.
- Avoiding others
Stress means different things to different people
It should also be noted stress does not affect everyone the same way.
The same stressor could be perceived differently depending on the circumstances or the individual.
The loss of a job for a single, young professional living at home with his family, who was planning to quit, is much less of a stressor than the loss of a job for an older, long-term employee whose family depends on her income.
How one experiences stress depends on internal resources and overall perspective. Here is where stress management comes into play.
Three excellent ways to manage stress:
- Laugh it off: Lowers cortisol levels
- Work it out: Releases endorphins and eases anxiety
- Breathe it in deeply: Provides oxygen and slows heart rate
However, typical stress management does not work long-term for some people.
If that is the case, you may need to learn the essentials of focussed attention meditation.
Mindfulness is the art of living in the present moment. Instead of going through life on auto-pilot, mindfulness is slowing down, taking time to pause and pay attention to what is happening to you and around you.
Mindful meditation is a not so much about trying to reach a heightened level of consciousness; it is the act of focusing on being aware.. — being in the present.
By living in the present, you may realize that a lot of your stress and anxiety is unnecessary.
Move toward greater balance in your life
And for those of you looking to move toward greater balance in your life by starting a Mindful practice make sure to check out this course that I recently took. It helped me systematically work with my own stress, challenges, and demands of everyday life.
By the way, this link above is an affiliate link, which means that I earn a commission if you do end up purchasing this course. It’s at no extra cost to you, and please, if you have any questions related to this product, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer them for you.