Why Stress Is So Dangerous & How to Conquer It

Stress is a killer. It contributes to strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and accidents. Workplace stress has been called the health epidemic of the 21st century. It costs businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year. People who are pessimistic, inflexible and see themselves as victims are more vulnerable to stress.

What exactly is stress? It is a physical, mental and emotional response to danger, threats, and demands.

A Threat to

physical well-being,
identity, self-esteem, self-worth,
beliefs, values,
needs, desires,
expectations

Causes

anxiety
anger
fear
guilt
grief

Sources of Stress

major life changes
 isolation/loneliness
 perfectionism
 over-extending/committing
 loss of control
 worry
 inertia/boredom
 conflict
 unrealistic goals
 illness
 demands of work
 demands of relationships
 sense of lack/incompetency
 illness/death of loved ones

Effects

physical, emotional, mental tension
 muscle rigidity and pain
 headaches and diarrhea
 weakened immune system/ more susceptible to disease
 depression, negativity, irritability, anxiety
 hostile, angry, pessimistic, critical
 fatigue, exhaustion
 restless, inability to concentrate, memory impairment
 hypersensitivity
 speeds up aging (chronic stress shortens life span of cells by 9 to 17 years)
 lack of appetite or overeating
 stores fat
 insomnia, digestive problems
 personality disorders
 contributes to major diseases
 skin conditions
 poisons brains cells

“Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea.” Frederick Saunders

STRESS TEST: Make very tight fists with both hands and hold to the count of 5. Let go. Notice the lingering tension in your hands.

To release the tension, shake your hands and wiggle your fingers, interlock fingers and stretch. Notice the difference. Tension that is not counteracted and released builds up in the body causing chronic pain.

We find situations stressful when we feel threatened and because of what we tell ourselves: I’m in trouble. I can’t keep up. I’m losing control. I’m not getting what I want, expect, need.

Change your interpretation of a situation and you change its effect on you.

The body reacts to what the mind thinks. It works the other way around as well. Relaxing the body calms the mind and emotions.

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” Lily Tomlin

Everyone accumulates stress all day long from pressures large and small, real and imagined. Here’s how to let it go…

BREATHE: Just 3–5 minutes of deep breathing a couple of times a day can reduce mental, emotional & physical stress.

SOUND: Energy moves on sound. Talking, sighing, crying releases emotional tension.

LAUGH: Laughter increases blood flow to heart and other organs countering contraction of blood vessels and muscles.

MOVE: Exercise, stretch, walk, dance. Movement helps release tension and repair physical damage caused by stress.

LISTEN to classical music. http://www.accuradio.com/classical/ http://www.classicalmusicamerica.com/

WRITE. It helps to organize thoughts and express emotions.

MAKE A LIST. Put things in order of priority and tackle them one at a time. Multi-tasking is distracting, causes mistakes and impedes progress.

THINK positive thoughts.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Exercise. Get a massage. Take a walk.

MEDITATION relaxes mind and body.

Make the Best of the Rest of Your Life

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Originally published at www.gerioneill.com on March 16, 2016.

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