Thoughts And Ideas
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Thoughts And Ideas

Vigilance Of Stress In Recovery

We all probably clearly know what the definition of stress is, since we all likely have to deal with it at more often than we’d like. So many things can cause stress. Lose of a job, death of a loved one, dealing with a difficult illness, getting married (or divorced for that matter), moving into a new home, or money problems, just to name a few. Stress affects everybody throughout their lives. It can often be quite difficult to process in a healthy manner.

As a person currently in recovery, and with a history of mental health diagnoses, I have learned a lot about how I need to remain ever the more vigilant about stress.

Stress does not always give us lots of warnings when it’s coming. The choice to isolate and relapse, will do nothing but numb that stress. Strengthening, while numbing.

Living life, with a vigilant awareness of stress is one of the main ways I have become accustomed to deal with it in a way where I do not feel like I’ve been a victim of a sneak attack by stress. One of the important first lines of defense that I think we should learn is really understanding symptoms of stress.

With early warning signs of symptoms mastered, we are better able to hit it head on, long before stress has had its chance to engulf us like a slow moving flame.

Stress can come in many symptoms, which are in many different forms. We need to be able to recognize those stress builders that are developing, as we can then better be able to manage it before it totally arrives.

Our feelings, thought, and emotions are definitely huge sources for camouflaging stress. We may feel like, we have a decent grip on our stress management, and can see things coming a mile away.

Though episodes of anger, and sadness, or anxiety are some of the main things that fit these categories, we also have to look at some more subtle ones. Looking back in our past, we may not had noticed back then, that we were seeming to be a little more forgetful than usual before an outbreak of stress.

We may also get confused more easily, have trouble concentrating, a random fear, that has seemingly no specific source, and many other things of that nature.

While not all presented as stress at first, these symptoms all fit together in our thoughts, feelings and emotions. If we don’t working on these symptoms as they each come, then stress may develop that will be much more difficult to deal with.

Behaviors are another area to keep attention to in the same manner. Once again, we may not notice subtle, yet definitive ways in which we are behaving that will also be clues to approaching stress. One that many may think of first, is one of having a short temper. Our patience may become lacking, in an unrealistic manner.

For myself, looking back, I would develop behaviors like smoking more cigarettes & making many mistakes in all different things. In my research for this piece, I read about jaw or teeth clenching as being a huge behavior that is a warning for stress coming. I realized after finally just recently reading that, that I was a big victim of that. Doing it awake, as well as when asleep.

So, finally, there are symptoms that may often times are the obvious signs. Raise in heart rate, sweats, back and neck pain, trouble with sleeping. Sometimes too much sleep, and sometimes not enough. We can feel exhausted no matter how good the quality of the sleep may seem.

Besides those pain issues mentioned, it stress can seem to lower effectiveness of our immune systems. Stress untreated almost always will connect to more than usual illnesses, especially things like colds, or flu like issues.

Much of this seems basic and easy enough to understand. The true vigilance must be in the fact that for those of us in recovery, or living with a history of past mental issues, we must remember how fast this can all turn dangerously bad. I have allowed stress to dictate relapses in my past. It is that vigilance just mentioned, that I now use, and it has become a staple, in my daily plan of living sober, with my mental health in check.



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Michael Patanella

Michael Patanella

Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things.