Understanding Stress

Myths around stress

A little bit of stress is a good thing. Why? It motivates us. It causes changes to be made. Chronic stress is bad. This can be dangerous if we ignore our body’s cries for relief and change.

Stress is physical, not mental and is a reaction to abnormal events such overeating, excited at the news of a new job, working in a toxic environment, a loss, stuck in traffic or whatever. So whether the event is good, neutral or abnormal your body deals with the strain to your body tapping into reserves or core energy to deal with it.

You might have a friend or relative that deals with adversity or stress pretty darn well. These are rare, “thick-skinned” people that tend to be pretty resilient, and have a jovial attitude about anything that comes their way.

But for the rest of us… stress can be more of a problem. We don’t eliminate stress or shrug it off as well or as quickly as we might like. This results in compounding of stress and the pressure and complication that go with it.

When we’re young, we tend to cope pretty well because our energy is strong, and we’re more active. Dancing, exercising, running your dog at the park and playing Frisbee, or softball are good stress reducers. But as we age, stress taps our energy and our core reserves. When this happens, stress can cause more serious problems.

Chronic Stress is no laughing matter. It begins with us getting sick and many of us do not realise that stress was the cause. There are 50 top illnesses that are caused or are linked to stress. (show list of them here)

Stress condition 1
Stress Condition 2
Etc. etc.

A little stress, can cause a stress headache. Too much stress over months can cause weight gain, weight loss, vision problems (blurry) migraines and depression. Stress is also impacting your heart, too. Too much stress can lead to a heart attack.

Are we working too many hours? Are we doing more with less? Certainly these are the initial “knee-jerk” reactions we can cite for one cause of stress, but there are many other causes of this little understood disease.

As we age, we tend to put up with life’s nagging little things like more aches and pains. More headaches. Migraines. Colds. Insomnia. Weight gain. Blurry vision. But did you know what a lot of these things above are not so much due to aging as they are more results of stress?

The American Institute of Stress identified the top 50 stress symptoms and the ones mentioned above are in the top 20%.

Dr. Selye is an endocrinologist that developed Stress Theory. In his early career, he found that people turned up in the Emergency Room complaining of the common cold or some other aches or pains. They were treated and immediately sent home. 99% of them were never diagnosed with a stress disorder.

This is how stress is often misdiagnosed as “something else.” And this is the problem. We really don’t know how to diagnose stress very easily and when we don’t catch it in time, when we don’t treat it in time, stress can lead to secondary medical conditions such as weight gain, weight loss, insomnia, heart attaches, migraines and depression. There are others, but these make the top of the list.

Understanding stress and how it affects you is just the beginning. Understanding the relief you can get at Living Calm is what we aim to offer.