The pressure of life
We often say or hear people say that they are to stressed, that they have to much to to much pressure. But stress has always been part of our lives, our ancestors had the stress of finding enough to eat or worry about being eaten and for some of little has changed as we have stress around employment and income, of stretching our $$ to pay the bills and provide for our families and although we are less likely to be eaten, we are more likely to be caught up in some random act of violence or traffic accident.
Stress is a phenomenon that affects us all and interestingly if we have to little stress in our lives, we may fail to get motivated, but if we have an excess of stress that we cannot manage, both body and mind can break down over time allowing illnesses to take root. Stress also shapes our behaviour and our lives in many ways from the way we build our homes to the very way we breathe.
Stress and the pressures in a person's daily life and external environment are renowned for causing mental problems, high blood pressure and even heart attacks. The inability to cope with and to manage stress also causes relationship problems, civil unrest and even wars.
What is stress?
Stress is a normal aspect of human existence and there are two principal forms of stress, physical stress and strain or wear on the body caused by hard physical labour and mental or emotional stress which may manifest as anxiety, worry or depression.
Physical stresses in life and work cause the physical breakdown and disease as we have seen happen to miners and people who work in physically challenging occupations. But the most common form of stress begins in the mind as:
'All stress begins in the mind' - However the mind cannot store stress so the stress gets locked away in the physical body and as well as the mental anguish, depression and worry, this gives us back aches, pains in the neck, indigestion and a whole host of physical problems.
Emotional stress is simply a form of mental stress and is usually referred to as emotional as it relates to the stresses arising within relationships.
- Anxiety, Worry, Fear, Tension, Up-tightness, or Depression
- Work, social, family or any pressure to perform, live up to expectations, meet any deadline.
- Anxiety or depression
- Strokes and heart problems
- Physical aches and pains
- Breathing difficulties
- A stress relationship chart
Stress can make you feel as though you are in a pressure chamber and high levels of stress can and often do impact a persons ability to function on a daily basis. Stress loads the brain and may actually cause damage to neuron system the brain as a result of stress and life's hallenges can be hard to face when you are working in a stressful home or environment.
Many people take medication to reduce the awareness of stress and to offset the demands of the daily life, the workplace or running a family, but the less that stress is acknowledged, it can affect your entire lifestyle, including those around you, sometimes for years and it can shorten your life.
Ways of reducing stress
People handle stress in many different ways, but most people generally handle stress by burying it under a host of emotions and feelings which never works for long, the most effective ways to manage stress are:
- Be clear in all your transactions and relationships in work and social life
- Don't say you will do things, or take on more tasks than you can manage
- Stand up and fight for your rights as a lot of stress is caused by other people dumping their stuff on you
- maintain a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise
- Remember; the mind feels the stress which is then stored in the body as cannot be stored in the mind
- regular physical exercise releases the stored up stress.
- massage is an excellent way to relax and release stress