The sluggish feeling every morning, the need to be present for everyone and everything because you can’t say no, and a boss that pressures your inadequacies. All of these can be stress triggers. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of pressure, tension or demand.
Stress is a perpetual part of most our lives and although fairly normal, it still needs to be managed, so it does not lead to short and/or long-term health issues. Adversely some people actually use stress as a motivator. Yes, to get that promotion at work or run that last mile on the treadmill, or to make that extra money.
Statistical data provided by www.stress.org, indicates 77% of people who regularly experience physical discomfort is largely linked to stress. Most Americans are suffering from moderate to high levels of stress with 44% reporting their stress levels have increased over the past five years with work stress leading the list.
Some Common Causes of Stress include:
Job unhappiness or loss of a job
Heavy workload or working too many hours
Life transitions, i.e., getting married, divorce, or loss of a loved one.
Children and Family
Negative self-talk; inflexible thinking
Stress levels will vary from person to person; so what is stressful for you may be very different from that of your counterparts. Research has shown that the impact of stress can range from mild to serious depending how you respond to a set of circumstances lending to the stress. What happens is when you are dealing with stress your body unleashes a physical reaction commonly known as “flight or fight”.
Effects of Stress may manifest itself in some of these physical signs:
Headache and fatigue
Changes in sex drive
Chest pain or increased heart rate
Eating less or more; withdrawing from others
Use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
Learning to identify stressful triggers and managing how to handle the stressors is key to taking care of your mind and body. Your motivation for doing so is the thought of the adverse effects that you will incur as a result. Ironically, some people are so consumed with day-to-day life that they fail to pay attention to their body. Learn to pay attention when your body is alerting you that something is off.
Ways to Improve and Manage Stress:
Get enough Sleep
Schedule time off from work to relax and restore your mind and body
Exercise Regularly and incorporate a healthy diet
Connect with and build a strong support system
Implement positive affirmations, positive self-talk, learn how to relax
There is no one way to handle and manage stress. However, being mindful is the first step to being aware and dealing with triggers. Take the opportunity to do research reflective ways to control your emotions which include a support network that is free of judgment so you don’t succumb to isolation. The more you are knowledgeable about stressful situations will allow you the ability to prepare and produce a favorable outcome. Lastly, if you recognize you are consuming stress