You finally got through the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness. It’s all over now. You’re returning to your normal routine. So, tell me - why you do not feel relieved or less stressed. Is stress becoming your new ‘norm’? Can you recall the last time you went to sleep without a worry in the world?
Stress can be helpful in our day to day lives by increasing our productivity and boosting our memory. However, excessive stress and worry can actually lead to pretty serious health issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, stress is the health epidemic on the 21stcentury (Colquhoun, 2018).
To better understand how stress can negatively affect your health, we must first understand the different types of stress. There are 4 main types of stress: eustress, acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.
Eustress tends to be a moderate stress that is interpreted as being beneficial or exciting. Acute stress is the most common form of stress. Acute stress tends to be short-termed and comes from pressures of the recent past or anticipated demands of the near future. Episodic acute stress, is very similar to acute stress. Episodic acute stress is when the individual seems to let acute stress run rampant. This occurs when an individual takes on too many tasks, becomes overwhelmed by all the demands with an inability to meet those demands. The last type of stress is called Chronic Stress. Chronic Stress can seem never ending like the stress of a bad marriage or a strenuous job. This stress continues over a long period and makes the individual feel as though they have little to no control.
Now that we know more about the different types of stress, let’s dive deeper into why prolonged stress is so bad for the body. Stress is like a small crack in a windshield. If the crack is left unaddressed, its tentacles spread throughout the glass until it completely breaks down. Stress works the same way. If left untreated, stress rises and has growing negative impacts on your physical and mental health (CNC, 2018).
The initial physical symptoms are mild, like chronic headaches and an increased susceptibility to colds. However, the longer chronic stress presents itself, the worse the symptoms develop. Some of the top stress influenced conditions include but are not limited to:
· Hair Loss
· Heart Disease
· Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The effects of stress also impact us emotionally. While some stress may produce feelings of mild anxiety or frustration, prolonged stress can lead to burnout, anxiety disorders, as well as depression.
We all experience stress from time to time. It is when this stress becomes chronic and unmanageable that it starts to have a negative affect on our mind and body. In order to prevent further damage, there are several ways to effectively manage your stress levels.
· Quit the Caffeine
· Track your Triggers
· Say No to Screen Time
· Take a Walk Outside
· Drink in Moderation
With these tools, you have the power to change your thoughts and transform the mind which in turn will change your life. If you’re feeling particularly stressed out or you’re just in a rut you can’t seem to shake it, try a few of these tools we recommended. Remember, it’s only temporary. You got this!
Write up provided by: Alex Putnam