How Does Stress Affect HealthBy Catherine Pulsifer, ©20008
If you are one who finds that Sunday night is a nightmare, or is becoming one, you've probably also had a restless sleep. Upon rising Monday morning, you feel tired and somewhat depressed. You find it is a struggle to get out of bed, let alone muster the energy to get ready for work and start your commute. The longer it takes you to get to work, the more you dread opening the door to enter your work environment knowing that you will have to endure another day where you'd rather be almost anyplace else. This anxiousness or stress is becoming a constant. It starts to affect how and what you eat; you may find yourself nibbling on sugar-saturated foods just to get a body high, or at the least, a distraction from what you don't like. Or, you may find that stress causes you to skip eating because you just don't feel good enough; your stomach feels off, and the thought of food makes you want to throw up.
If you have been able to handle stress associated with work in the past, the more you are unable to dissipate or alleviate work related stress, can become compounded over time. The inability to control, to modify, or to eliminate this stress, will only serve to make you feel worse. Each day becomes worse than the last. And, you will probably find that your work ethic, the ability to do your job properly, or without error just seems to grow more difficult. You probably find yourself short-tempered, irritable, and unable to handle even the slightest upset out of the routine. The only thing you look forward to is the weekend.
The spiral can continue until you cause yourself everything from high blood pressure to more serious physical and sometimes psychological problems, which, if left unattended, can lead to a complete breakdown. The real question then is this: once you recognize that stress is adversely affecting your overall health, what can you do?
To give a blanket suggestion covering all stressful situations isn't realistically possible. Having said that, however, there are some basic stress relievers that you can employ on your own. Some of these are: start getting more physical activity worked into your daily life even if it is only going for a brisk walk in the evening, or on your lunch period; or, enrolling a yoga class where you learn to relax your body and mind; or, if it is all work related, either see if you can change jobs, or take additional evening courses so you can open up more options to secure a job you know you will really enjoy. And, while these are only a few suggestions, there are many more that you can find, and if you just can't seem to get a good handle on stress relief, at the very least you should visit your doctor and discuss your issues with them. The point here is this: don't leave stress to grow and grow and continue to affect your total well-being; do something about it right now - That is the frist step in stress relief.
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