Stress affects different people in different ways. However there are some common symptoms that are easily identifiable as being caused by stressed. Do you ever get the feeling that you just can’t think straight any longer? Have you found that your ability to concentrate has been greatly reduced? Do you lose your temper easily or get disheartened or even emotional over “silly” or insignificant things that happen? Do you feel physical stiffness, aches or pains in your body for no apparent reason? Do you suffer from headaches? If have any of the above symptoms, or all of them, then you may well be suffering from stress!
All of us suffer from some form of stress. In fact most people believe that stress is just a part of living. In this age of fast food and dog-eat-dog competitiveness stress seems to be a part of life!
There are people who believe that they strive on stress because the pressure makes them perform better. Although it may appear that pressure can drive a person to succeed it is not at all necessary if you can stay motivated without it.
Although many high achievers thrive under pressure for most of us it is an annoyance that we have just come to accept and even expect. However, it does not have to be that way!
Stess is a direct result of the “fight or flight” response that has been hard-wired into every human being due to evolutionary processes. When our ancestors were confronted with a situation that was dangerous, life-threatened or meant the difference between survival or death they had two choices; they could run and try to escape or they could stand and fight.
As a result of the aforementioned situation the body and brain developed a very effective way of preparing a person for dealing with hazardous situations, whether they choose to run or stand and fight. When our ancestors had an emotional response to a situation that triggered the fight-or-flight response their bodies produced high levels of adrenaline.
Adrenaline puts oxygen into the blood quickly and gives an energy boost beyond the normal and would allow a person to run faster for longer or fight harder and longer than usual. Whichever choice was made the adrenaline would be used up and the body would benefit from it.
Although in the 21st Century you are unlikely to need to perform either of these actions this evolutionary response still exists in our bodies. When you feel pressure to perform an action or feel uncomfortable in a situation your body natural responds in the same way as your ancient ancestors. You enter fight-or-flight mode.
However, these situations often appear at work, in the home or in other situations (such as a traffic jam) when you do not have the option to run or fight. Unfortunately though, your body still produces high levels of adrenaline yet it never gets the chance to use it. That adrenaline has to used-up somehow!
What usually happens is you tighten your muscles, screw up your forehead and become agitated. This leads to strain on your physical body which can cause any number of physical discomforts and ailments.
The best way to eliminate this strain on your body would be to remove your fight-or-flight response. However, as this is hard-wired into our brains and is an evolutionary physical response we have no way of doing that.
Therefore, the only other alternative is to remove the triggers for your fight-or-flight response! You can do this by controlling your emotional responses to life situations that usually stress you because it is your emotions that trigger the response.
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