Have you got stress? Maybe you have and maybe you haven't, but I think that at some time in your life you have suffered from stress. And I predict that you will again in the future.
Why do I say that? Well, as a rule, any change in your life is likely to cause stress. And nobody goes through life without changes - relationships, friendships, work, sport, diet, travel, marriage and divorce, children, new home, illness, the list is endless.
Not everyone reacts to change in the same way. Some people thrive on it and go on to better things. Others suffer badly with change. While yet more people keep going through it all with a brave face, but underneath their body is slowly being affected. For this group of people those little changes add up to a whole lot of stress.
The down side of stress is that it can cause health problems: problems that can endanger your life. In the short term it makes you bad tempered, angry, anxious and depressed. Long-term stress can end up in heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia and even cancer.
These health consequences begin with the way your body reacts to changes - through the fight or flight response. Thousands of year ago this is what kept people alive. The sudden burst of energy when confronted by a predator gave people the ability to run faster than usual or the strength to fight more bravely and tenaciously.
Now, however, these abilities are suppressed, and we bottle them up. The body's reaction to stressful events hasn't changed much over the years, but how we deal with it has. We pretend that our stress is under control when all we are doing is suffering inside. Our heart races, we breathe quickly, our digestion slows down, the hormones course through our bodies, but we struggle on with our lives.
Ideally, once the response has been triggered and the event has passed, your body will get back to normal. Once more the hectic life we lead these days means there is little chance of that. The stressors come thick and fast. One event follows close on the heels of another. The result is that your body continues to react and you end up in a never-ending stress situation.
Over time your body tries to get used to the more-or-less permanently stressed you, but because things never quite get back to normal the symptoms begin to appear. Minor ones at first but progressing to more serious ones later on, and if you don't get a handle on your stress it could even shorten your life.
It doesn't have to be like that. If you can recognise the situations and events that cause you stress, you could easily do something about it. Once you understand what causes stress, the stressors, and how it can damage your health, then you can start to put things right.
What are you waiting for? The bottom line is that you make your own stress. It's all about how you react or respond. Reacting means you do things all wrong. You fight it; you let it bother you; you go down the anxiety and depression route. Responding is to take it in your stride; to accept that you must adapt; to learn from it and get on with your life. And this is what you must aim for - responding to every change and stressor you meet.
You'll need some help to turn thing around, and I have just the thing for you. It's a useful guide to calming your stress; turning problems into opportunities and creating harmony. Discover how to live up to your true potential with powerful relaxation techniques. Use the many techniques of complementary medicine to help you and carry your bonus Stress-busting Tips Booklet with you so you can relax anytime, anywhere.
By James Brunton BSc, MSc
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