How to live stress free, Relax and enjoy life to the full
First let's try and identify the areas of your life - situations and people - that make you chronically stressed - then we can show you how to manage stress and make life good for you again
How To Know If Your Stress Is Chronic Or Acute
Most people make the incorrect assumption that all stress is the same, when in fact there is such a thing as bad stress and good stress. The "Fight or Flight" stress response is a primal reaction that ensured our survival, but in today’s world, we don't require this response as much-if ever. Instead, we now respond to stress that has been triggered by being late for work, or experiencing social alienation. While serious in their own right, they do not warrant a massive release of stress hormone, but is even worse when it becomes chronic. With that said, there are ways to determine if your stress is chronic or acute in nature, as there are clear differences in their manifestations. Look for the following:
You Suffer From Insomnia Short-term stress does not have a lasting effect on the body, even though Adrenaline is one of the body’s stress hormones. Adrenaline is the hormone that kicks us into high gear, so that we may “fight or flee.” This makes us alert, increases heart rate and breathing, and eliminates the desire for sleep. When this turns chronic, however, Adrenaline is released around the clock- impairing your ability to sleep. If you find yourself unable to sleep for many nights in a row, chronic stress is creeping up on you.
Poor Concentration And Inability To Work Efficiently Stress rewires the way the brain works to make it more emotionally responsive. Thus, you will find changes occurring that decrease substances in areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory, and increase substances in areas that control emotional responses. Thus, when someone assigns you a task at work, you may opt to cry if you can’t meet the deadline, or lash out in anger because you feel overworked. This is not ideal, and is indicative of chronic stress.
Lack Of Interest In Sex Chronic stress suppresses testosterone levels and induces negative changes to blood vessels that impairs blood flow. The result in a loss of interest in sex, or even when the desire does arise, the inability to attain or maintain an erection. In women, it primarily manifests as suppressed libido, but can also affect fertility in both genders.
Inability To Feel Joy The effects of chronic stress are far reaching, and can also affect the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. More specifically, it depletes their levels, which in turns hinders motivation and drive, and can cause depression due to reduced serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that modulates mood and wellbeing, while dopamine gives us our drive. When both of these brain chemicals are reduced, the result is a general loss of a feeling of purpose in life and a “so what” attitude develops. This can have far reaching negative effects on the family of the affected person as well.
Changes To Attitude And Temperament Though the changes to your attitude and mood that occur when under chronic stress may be attributed to sleep deprivation, cortisol itself is known to cause these changes as well. Cortisol alters the areas of the brain that govern logical thinking and emphasizes emotional reactions. Individuals become increasing likely to display outbursts of anger, or just act in a manner not conducive to maintaining friendly, healthy relationships that everyone needs in their lives.
Conclusion It is imperative that you get your stress under control as fast as humanly possible. Schedule a mini vacation, take a few days off from work and just try to get some sleep. The signs of chronic stress taking hold occur gradually, and should easily be managed in the early stages. Don’t allow your acute response to stress to become a much worse beast- relaxation is key!