Stress is your body’s normal response to life’s pressures. In moderation stress is probably no harm. It excess though, stress can be very damaging to your health even to the point of shortening your life. If your are suffering from chronic stresses then I beg you; please do something about it now before it’s too late.
Here are some common stressors that you may need to address:
- Unhappy relationship. See can you sort out your differences or go for relationship counselling. If the problems are intractable like alcoholism or personality disorder then think of separation or divorce. If you are the victim of an abusive relationship then do whatever it takes to leave that relationship.
- Any chronic illness in yourself or in a loved one.
- Bullying in the workplace. Stand up to the bully and tell him or her that you will not put up with it any longer. Report the bully to the boss. Change workplace altogether.
- Bickering and fighting among neighbours. Sort it out or move house altogether. If you have neighbours from hell living next door and they are giving you chronic stress then move house.
- Chronic financial worries. Make a plan and have a budget. Face up to the situation and talk to an advisor. Do not simply hope that it will just go away.
- Pressure in work to reach certain targets for example. This is the kind of stress often experienced by people in sales
- Stuck in traffic. This is a common invidious form of stress. Consider car pooling or using public transport. Reading or working a PC on a train is a great stress free way of travelling.
What harm does stress do to your body?
Stress may be a silent killer. The damage that it can do to your body may be subtle but substantial. Here are just a few:
- Stress can damage your immune system leaving you vulnerable to infections and cancer.
- Increased risk of developing Type ll diabetes.
- We know that stress can raise your blood pressure and raised blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
- Stress increases heart rate (tachycardia) and a fast heart rate also increases the risks of heart disease.
- Disturbs your sleeping pattern leading to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is in turn a major cause of poor performance, road traffic accident and chronic ill-health.
What can you do about stress?
- Recognise and remove the cause. This may seem to be self-evident yet it is often that which the victim of stress is most reluctant to do. So, if the marriage or relationship is bad, then either end it or mend it. If you are being bullied at work face up to the bully and complain to your superior. If there is ongoing conflict with neighbours then sit down and talk to them or move house altogether. Whatever your stressors are see if you can reduce them or remove them altogether.
- Go for psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counselling, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, aromatherapy or whatever you find most helpful. All of these things help as does sharing your problems with other trusted friends. Never bottle things up. People will always help you.
- Use sedatives, tranquillisers and sleeping tablets only as a short-term and absolute last resort. Starting these things is easy, getting off of them is the difficulty.