Most of us have, a some time or another, experienced sudden acute stress. And we recognize our reaction to it which is best described as the ‘Flight or Fight’ response. This is a normal response when confronted with a situation that needs urgent action. The tiger outside your cave may no longer exist. But in its place are deadlines, near accidents on the road and many other situations that will trigger the response. Once you have acted and / or the situation has passed the bodies systems and hormone balances return to normal and life goes on with no ill affects.
Not all stressors are massive or life threatening, demanding our immediate and undivided attention. It is this, ongoing exposure to smaller stressors that result in chronic stress. This slow build up of stress can and does happen. Often it happens without our noticing. This will almost certainly affect you in three ways; physically, emotionally and behaviorally.
Physically you may feel excessively tired and suffer from headaches. Those thing you will be aware of. But worse are the things you do not readily see such as raised blood pressure and / or cholesterol
Emotional effects would include; feeling anxious, anger, feeling tearful, exaggerated reaction and mood swings, amongst others.
Behavioral effects might include; poor sleep, over or under eating, substance abuse, dependence on drugs, legal or otherwise.
If not dealt with effectively chronic stress as described can lead to much more serious and life changing conditions such as heart disease or stroke.
Do something about your stress before your stress does it to you!
Whatever you choose to do – look after yourself, learn to manage your stress and not become a statistic.