Stress Symptoms and Statistics
Stress is your body’s natural reaction to any kind of demand that disrupts life as usual. At its most basic level, stress is a survival mechanism. When you are under stress your heart rate increases to pump more blood to your muscles, fat stored in cells is converted to sugar for fast energy, your breathing speeds up, and all of these responses are perfectly suited for fighting or fleeing from physical danger. Your ancestors survived by fighting for survival from predators and other threats. Nowadays though you do not live with the fear of being eaten! The problem is, your body does not know the difference between stress from being chased by a saber toothed tiger or stress from having a fight with your boss. Your brain still releases the same stress hormones. After our ancestors were out of danger, their bodies would return to a normal state of being. You are bombarded daily with stress due to your job, relationships, finances and health. If you stay in a constant state of stress and never allow your body to return to its natural state of being, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Stress in Your Body:
- Tight muscles and body aches
- Fatigue, lethargy
- Shallow, short breathing
- Chest tightness, rapid pulse
- Heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation,
- Dry mouth, and throat
- Excessive sweating, clammy hands, cold hands/feet
- Skin irritations, eczema
- Nail-biting, fidgeting, hair-twirling
- Lowered libido
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Insomnia, excessive dreaming
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
Psychological Signs of Stress:
- Frustration, irritability, anger
- Worry and anxiety
- Sadness, depression
- Insecurity, fear
- Panic attacks
- Moodiness, emotional instability
- Intrusive and racing thoughts
- Memory lapses, difficulty concentrating
- Loss of a sense of humor
. The following facts reveal the problems so many of us face:
- Stress and Daily Life: 89% of adults describe experiencing “high levels of stress.”
- Stress and Medical Visits: 75-90% of adult visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems.
- Stress and Work: 1 million employees are absent on an average workday because of stress related problems. Workplace stress costs more than $300 billion each year in healthcare, missed work and stress reduction.
- Stress Can Be Deadly: More people have heart attacks on Monday morning at 9:00 am than at any other time of the week.
- Stress Can Cause Illness: Stress is linked to the following diseases –hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, allergies, headache, backache, various skins disorders, cancer, immune system weakness, and a decrease in the number of white blood cells.
Let’s face it, it is not always possible to remove an outer problem. You can’t always quit your job, make your child behave, get out of a traffic jam, or heal a serious injury, but you can change your response and your inner state of consciousness. Dealing effectively with the stresses and problems in your life is a choice. When you have more energy and vitality, stress and problems don’t seem so overwhelming. By just taking 5 to 10 minutes a day and using some of the strategies I am going to teach you to relieve stress, you will begin to create the energy you need to handle your problems more skillfully and effectively.