The real problems with stress arise when you don’t do anything at all. Some people are not aware they are at risk for problems such as heart attack and stroke. Stress is so common and strikes so slowly that few people are aware of any danger till its too late. A little statistic might make this a little clearer; webmd.com estimates that 75% to 95% of all doctors’ visits are stress related!
In other words, if you have symptoms of stress, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep problems, headaches, faster aging, strokes, depression, ulcers, asthma, weaker immune system (reducing your natural ability to fight off infection), panic attacks, loss of memory or even obesity…stress can be a significant factor.
Stress occurs when you perceive a demand on you to be greater than your resources. This can happen studying, working, dealing with events, holidays, running your own business and so on. The symptoms include an elevated blood pressure, release of hormones, increase of tension in your muscles, rapid breathing, and sweating.
Some stress can actually be good for you, as it can motivate you. But all the physical symptoms of stress can make your body weaker, breaking down its immune system. So stress for a longer period of time than a few days can be very dangerous.
Think of it this way; If you bought a car and then drove it around recklessly, not taking proper care of it, the car will break down. You are putting way too much exertion on the engine to keep it running for very long.
Your body is the same way with stress. You have to consciously take control of and manage stress, or your body will begin to run like a broken down car.
Unfortunately the fast paced living we are used to is designed to put your body into a state of stress from the very moment you wake up! It begins with the sharp sound of an alarm bell, followed by the stress of the morning commute, add coffee and sugar filled snacks and your body is beginning to get hit hard…and all of this before the work day has even begun!
By the time you get home there is so much stress stored up in your body that you may even find it difficult to allow your mind to relax. You have probably been “storing” stress in your body for years and don’t realize it. This leads to trouble relaxing and sleeping, one of the most common symptoms of stress.
“Stress is harmful to the body as well as the mind.”
Time Magazine January 20, 2003
The topic of stress relief has been the object of controversy in recent decades due to the various ways to administer it. There are different ways for different cultures. Where the Hindus have yoga the Japanese have Zen. Both of these methods are excellent in relieving stress. There are many types of yoga and this practice includes stretching of the muscles and various positions to relax each body part. Meditation and concentration for each movement will eventually with continued effort give you a youthful glow and allow you to keep stress levels at a minimum. Zen, on the other, hand is a style focusing on more of the meditation. Zen is a more philosophical approach to stress relief and really works if practiced on a regular schedule.
Other ways to relieve stress include deep breathing exercises, light physical exercise, reading, getting out into nature, the calming effects of light music; each individual has their own method. Some may prefer bingo or bowling while another may choose baking or smoking a cigarette. Whatever the choice, there are certain consequences. For instance, if you choose to smoke to relieve your stress it may not be the best solution and could result in a health risk. Other ways to relieve stress are acupuncture and hypnosis. To locate a professional simply use the internet or it’s as easy as your phone book under physicians or alternative medicine.
I have researched and compiled a list of 6 extremely useful resources on the internet. Each resource has a description from it’s website to give you an idea of what to expect. This will give you a jump start on understanding the roots of stress and how to efficiently reduce stress in your life today.
1. A Completely Free Stress Management And Stress Relief System: If you want to learn exactly how you can control stress in all aspects of life, step by step, you will love this program. I think this is the most effective stress management & stress relief system on the net today and it’s available free. Might as well take advantage of it. Read about it @ http://www.InstantStressManagement.com
2. The American Institute of Stress: Many studies have proven beyond any doubt that stress affects your mind AND body. This site is “Dedicated to Advancing Our Understanding of: (1)The Role of Stress in Health and Illness, (2) The Nature and Importance of Mind-Body Relationships, and (3) Our Inherent and Immense Potential for Self-Healing.” @ http://www.Stress.org
3. American Psychological Association Help Center: As stated on the website, “APA’s Help Center is your online resource for brochures, tips and articles on the psychological issues that affect your physical and emotional well-being, as well as information about referrals.” @ http://www.apahelpcenter.org
4. International Stress Management Association: This is a charity that, “exists to promote sound knowledge and best practice in the prevention and reduction of human stress. It sets professional standards for the benefit of individuals and organizations using the services of its members.” @ http://www.isma.org.uk
5. The Job Stress Network: Everybody gets stressed at work. Although there are many good methods for quick stress relief (see resource #1), sometimes it is important to get information on work stress in particular. This can help you cope with your job better. As stated on the website, “The purpose of this site is to bring together, for public dissemination, information about and related to Job Strain (specifically) and Work Stress (in general).” @ http://www.workhealth.org
6. Stress Management Information at About.com: At this website you will find collections of articles, tips and tests that you can take. If you are looking for a general understanding of stress then this is the place to go. http://stress.about.com
It is very easy to maintain a relaxed mind and body if you just have the tools and knowledge. We all have to deal with life’s every day stresses but they don’t have to destroy our lives. Being able to control our stress levels is important to our overall body health.
Making some time for yourself that is quiet and free from things like your children or your spouse is very important because just because we love the people in our lives; they often cause a lot of our stress.