Have you ever been late for work and found yourself so wound up that you were ready to burst? This response is a normal reaction from your body to an increased level of stress. While it is true that constant stress is bad for you, this kind of stress is a holdover from the days when we experienced fight or flight stress, which often saved lives. In a stressful situation or emergency, the human body releases hormones that result in the rise of our heart rate and blood pressure. Our muscles tense up and we begin to perspire in an attempt to cool our bodies. Our respiration rate rises and even our pupils begin to pinpoint to improve our vision. It is the fight or flight hormones and they are a necessary part of who we are.
The Saber Toothed Problem
While we are rarely in those life threatening situations today, our bodies still react to what our brains deem as a stressful situation. The image of our bosses yelling at us brings out the same reactions as the saber toothed tiger we once smelled lurking about. Normal situations like divorce, death in the family, illness, moving from our homes, and starting, or losing a job, have taken the place of the perils our ancestors used to face.
How You Handle Stress Is Important
The thing to remember is that it is not the stress that is bad for us. It is how we react to that stress that can kill us. If we learn to use our stress rather than to react to it, we would be much better off. Most of us choose anxiety, which is a very poor option considering its health implications. The symptoms of reacting to stress with anxiety are,
Stress can also cause us to react by being depressed, if we so choose. We become
War And Grief
Grief is also a response to stress. There are two types of grief, one that is called for and is a healthy way to begin the healing process of losing a loved one. The other is uncalled for and is an unhealthy way to react to the loss of a job or other situation. We lose many people who are close to us in times of war. Many soldiers experience posttraumatic stress disorder. This is where we relive the experiences of extreme stress in the form of dreams, flashbacks, and possible hallucinations. It is our minds way of trying to find ways to deal with the stressful events that have affected us so strongly. Other Symptoms of PTSD are
Avoidance of feelings towards the events
Exaggerated startle response
During therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder, which is a little different for every individual, there are common treatments that we learn that everyone with stress can benefit from. Whether you suffer from PTSD or if you just have a high level of stress, you can practice these applications for relief. Learn to let go of things for which you have no control. Claiming blame for things you cannot influence is very bad for your mental well being. Imagine the worst possible thing that could happen in any situation, how unlikely it is to occur, and how you would handle it if it did. This will help to keep everything in perspective. Consider if you will even remember the incident in ten years. Time heals all wounds. Exercise regularly. A healthy body helps to mold a healthy mind. Pursue other hobbies and stay busy. Talk to someone you trust. There is no shame in speaking to a professional or a loved one.