A lot of people ask themselves; ‘Am I stressed?’ The speed of modern life means that we never seem to stop long enough to catch our breath. Even when we think that we are relaxing at home, that may not be the case. We may be going through the day’s work in our mind, a family problem, worrying about what was on the news, trying to get the laptop to work properly, and all of these can cause stress. Stress is also something that can creep up on people without them noticing until they start to suffer from related health problems. Below are more details on stress, so that you can actually answer the question; ‘Am I stressed?”
So What Is Stress?
Stress is a natural response of the body to a threat. When we perceive a threat, our body releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones, which enable us to take flight quicker than we normally would. This injection of hormones into the blood causes our heart rate to increase, which boosts the oxygen supply throughout the body. Your breath will speed up, blood pressure rises and your senses are enhanced. This natural feature of our body is fine for what it evolved for, but the continuous stress that we suffer from these days can cause health problems.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress?
Not everyone has the same symptoms, as people react in different ways to stress. There are many signs, such as snapping at friends and family when you never used to do that or maybe, you start going quiet and retreating into yourself. The symptoms of stress can come in various categories:
• Behavior: Problems with sleeping. Eating more food, or losing your appetite. Drinking more alcohol than usual. Smoking more. Starting or increase in habits such as nail biting and hair pulling.
• Cognitive: Always worrying about things, even if a problem has nothing to do with you. Becoming more forgetful. Concentration lapses. Never seeing anything in a positive light.
• Physical: Changes in toilet habits, such as urinating more, constipation or diarrhea. Loss of sex drive. Getting aches and pains in joints and muscles. Bouts of increased heart beat for no reason. Panic attacks. Catching more colds than usual, due to an immune system that has been lowered.
• Emotions: Changes in your feel good factor. Feelings of isolation. Short temper, and always getting irritated by the smallest thing. Bad moods. No matter what you, you are unable to relax.
Many of these systems can be due to other things, so always have a checkup with your doctor. The quicker you do that, the sooner you will get control over any problems.
Having continuous high levels of stress can lead to medical problems such as heart disease, sleep issues, obesity, depression, skin conditions, autoimmune diseases which can be life changing, different pains and one of the most common, digestive problems, such as heartburn and ulcers.
If you think that the answer to the question; ‘Am I stressed’ is yes, then you have taken the first step to lowering your stress levels. You are best seeking medical advice, but two things that you can do yourself is to write down everything that is bothering you and then, go through them one by one, resolving them as you go. The second thing is to buy a meditation DVD, as this has been proved to lower stress levels and can be done by anyone.