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In the previous article Stress!!! What causes it??, we established two important points. The first being that no one is immune to stress – we all have to deal with stress from time to time in varying degrees. The second is that stress may develop from frustration, conflict and pressure which may result from dissatisfaction at work, financial instability, relationship difficulties and a too busy life with no time for relaxation. However, we also discovered that stress, in certain circumstances, is necessary and could assist us.

BUT, what effect does stress have on our body, especially over a prolonged period of time?

 

Pinterest 2 683x1024 - Stress!!! What effect does it have on my body??So you are up before anyone else in the house each morning, to ensure that clothes for the day are out, lunches packed, breakfasts ready and all of the other 100 things that need to be done are completed before you are even able to think about getting yourself ready for the day. By the time you are ready to leave the house you have looked at at the 50 clocks dispersed around your house at least 25 times trying to judge whether you are leaving early enough to drop everyone off and still be at the office on time. Of course, all of your efforts could be blown out of the window if the traffic is a shocker. Still you make your way out of the door with all “passengers” in tow and hop into your vehicle ready to start your morning drop off routine. Luckily this morning the traffic was flowing relatively smoothly and you arrive at the office with a couple of minutes to spare and grab a quick cup of coffee before the next part of your day begins. Your job is pressurised dealing with clients, bosses, co-workers and an endless amount of phone calls, e-mails, presentations and meetings, all the time being challenged by others ideas, queries and questions. Eventually after a number of hours of continuous rushing and busyness its time to grab your bag and be on your way to start your afternoon collection routine before you will arrive at home again. Though as you walk through the front door there are a number of things that need your attention like homework, feeding and walking pets, finding lost toys, ensuring everyone baths without drowning and actually does put on clean pyjamas etc before you are even able to think about what you may feed the hungry hoard this evening. And just as you can see the light and have managed to get through most things its time for dinner and now your looking in the fridge, freezer and pantry cupboard to see what there is available for you to throw together to make a half decent meal in super quick time before you have a riot on your hands. Eventually you sit down to enjoy your meal only to be asked a number of times for tea, coffee or juice by each of your family members (an oh no – definitely not all at the same time – that would be far too simple). After what seems like an eternity everyone finishes their meals and settles down to watch a little television before bed. However you are not able to join in as dishes still have to be washed, the washing machine put on, school bags unpacked and re-packed for the next day etc etc. After a time everyone drifts off to their respective sleeping quarters and you are eventually able to see to having a bath and getting yourself ready for bed. And eventually after everyone else has fallen asleep you are, again, the only person up and still trying to complete some of the tasks from this morning that you just didn’t have time for. Falling into bed seems to be the end of your day however you lie awake thinking off what needs to be done the following morning.
This is the scenario used in the previous article, which still applies, however in addition to running around like a mad person all day long your body has developed (over the last few weeks) a few complaints which are just making your entire day that much more difficult.
When you awaken each morning you are exhausted and would much rather just roll over and go back to sleep. The exhaustion, constant tiredness and lack of energy make you feel miserable and unnecessarily irritable. Your neck is in a spasm and you have a killer headache. In addition, you know that by the afternoon your back will also be causing you pain (because this how it has been for days now) which only makes your neck spasm more and your headache worse. By the time you are halfway through the morning you have already taken a number of painkillers and muscle relaxants, which seem to have little effect. You either don’t have an appetite or you want to eat the entire pantry cupboards contents, which will it be today? Oh no, someone has just walked into your office with a cold and is coughing and sneezing at the desk right next to yours. You attempt to block the germs, being only too fully aware that every time someone is ill in your vicinity you seem to fall ill too, in a matter of hours. By tonight you will be again hoping that you will feel better in the morning whilst feeling frustrated and irritated with your body.
There is absolutely no doubt that chronic stress can have serious effects on your body and mind. Back pain, headaches, dizziness, frequent colds and heart palpitations are common symptoms of stress. Are you aware that repeated episodes of acute stress can cause inflammation in the coronary arteries and that extended periods of chronic stress may also lead to anxiety disorders?
When you become stressed your body releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which increase your heart rate as well as your blood pressure, your senses become heightened, your breathing more rapid, glucose and fats are released into your blood stream and your muscles tighten. Higher than normal adrenaline and cortisol levels become problematic when sustained for a long period of time by place pressure on the immune system, increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke as well as speed up the ageing process.
Lets take a look at how stress affects the various parts of your body:

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In recent times, the stress levels of many people have been so alarmingly high, that immediate hospitalisation has been recommended, where complete rest and medication is prescribed to normalise the body systems. Research has also been able to show that life expectancy has been reduced drastically due to the presence of stress.
Once we have identified that our symptoms can be linked to acute stress, we should then be able to take a proper approach towards improving the situation through managing our stress better
The idea behind managing the stress is all about gaining control over the stress which should be to identify and address the possible causes of the stress, and then work towards ways to overcome it effectively.
In our next article I look forward to beginning to explore effective ways of managing our stresses and prioritising our own well being so that we may be better able to handle any stressful situations which may arise
I look forward to continuing this adventure with you in my next article.

Michelle

PS. The first step in learning to manage your stress is to acknowledge that you need to prioritise your own well being

PPS. I have put together a short e-book to provide you with an effective technique when dealing with stress.      

Stress!!! What effect does it have on my body??
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22 thoughts on “Stress!!! What effect does it have on my body??

  • July 4, 2017 at 10:15 am
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    Great and timely post! People don’t understand what stress can cause in their bodies or how dangerous it is to their health. Great idea to write this to educate the masses.

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    • July 4, 2017 at 10:37 am
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      Hi Debrah – yes I am trying to help others with the thought that prevention is far better than cure 🙂

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  • July 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm
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    Great read! Very informative!

    Pammy – joyfulsource.com

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  • July 2, 2017 at 3:32 am
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    So well written! Stress is the worst – it really can have such a negative affect on your body. It’s the worst!

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    • July 4, 2017 at 10:35 am
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      Hi Adriana. Why thank you so much 🙂 It is the worst and we fail to realise that the longer we leave it the longer it takes to correct the effects (sometimes they may even be uncorrectable)

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  • July 1, 2017 at 8:43 am
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    Hi, this is a great reminder of the signs and signals of stress and that we should react to this in a positive way. So many ignore it, hopefully this we let some take a step back and rethink and try to address it. Thanks for sharing.

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    • July 4, 2017 at 10:33 am
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      Hi Chloe. Yes I think too many of us ignore the signs and only do something about it once the symptoms have become severe. I am hoping to help people to re-assess their situations before this stage whilst we still have choices 🙂

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  • June 30, 2017 at 8:03 pm
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    we all know how stress affect us but we all forget about the consequences too, so its good to be reminded 🙂

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    • June 30, 2017 at 8:55 pm
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      Hi Mey. Yes, we get so busy with life that we sometimes just need a reminder that we need to look after ourselves too 🙂 Thank you for your comment 🙂

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  • June 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm
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    Very interesting and informative article! Thank you for such a important topic

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    • June 30, 2017 at 8:54 pm
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      Hi Alex. It is an important topic and I think becomes more relevant as we age and the effects on our bodies become more “visible” Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

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  • June 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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    I can imagine the life of a working mother it’s extremely fast paced and stressful.Mothers need to ask their kids to do household chores such as washing dishes,clothes etc.That way the other will also be relieved of stress and the kids can also learn to be independent

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    • June 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm
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      Hi Harini. I absolutely agree – Part of the problem is that in order to get things done it is sometimes (depending on the age of the child/children) a whole lot quicker just to do it yourself 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment. Much appreciated

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    • June 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm
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      Hi Vanessa. I too become a “nightmare” but have really found that the technique I talk about in the book helps a stack 🙂 Thanks so much

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  • June 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm
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    Excellent blog and very informative!

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    • June 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm
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      Hi Marla. Thanks so much – I think that being aware is half of the battle 🙂

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    • June 30, 2017 at 8:28 am
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      Pleasure – i don’t think that many of us realise the impact of stress on our bodies 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to coment

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    • June 30, 2017 at 8:28 am
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      Pleasure 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment

      Reply

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