Stress? What Stress?

What is stress?

Our bodies have an instinctive response to danger – the Fight or Flight Syndrome. This prepares us either to fight or to flee, with a number of physical changes, including increased heart rate, shallow breathing and muscle tension. If there is no real enemy to fight or run away from, our physical feelings have no release, and we begin to build up stress.

What causes stress?

Stress affects everyone in modern society to some extent. It can be caused by overwork, changes at work or at home, relationships, unemployment, loss, illness, pollution or just the pace of modern life.

How do I tell if I’m stressed?

Stress can show itself in many different ways. These may include illnesses, sleep loss, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic fatigue and muscular tension.

Is stress contagious?

No – but others may react as though it is, and may tend to avoid those suffering from stress in case they catch it!

Will it go away if you take a few weeks off?

No – unless you deal with the underlying problem the stress will still be there when you return.

Is stress an illness?

Stress is a natural reaction to pressure applied by circumstances and the environment. It’s not itself an illness, mental or otherwise, but if it’s prolonged or excessive it can lead to mental and physical ill-health.

Is a little stress good for you?

Generally speaking, “pressure” is good for you but stress isn’t.

This is what you can get from stress:
Headaches/migraine
High blood pressure
Stomach upsets
Muscle tension
Loss of confidence
Poor sleep/insomnia
Irritability/mood swings
Anxiety/depression

Pressure, on the other hand…:
Motivating
Exciting
Zest for life
Optimistic and energised
Increased performance
Impetus to achieve success
Boosts inner potential
Creatively helpful

OK, I’m stressed – what can I do about it?

Look out for my next blog…

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