Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Overview Of the Symptoms Of Stress

WebMD estimates that 75% to 95% of all doctors visits are stress related.

If you have symptoms of stress, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep problems, headaches, faster aging, strokes, depression, ulcers, asthma, weaker immune system (reducing your natural ability to fight off infection), panic attacks, loss of memory, ... stress can be a significant factor.

Stress occurs when you perceive a demand on you to be greater than your resources. This can happen studying, working, dealing with events, holidays, running your own business and so on. The symptoms include an elevated blood pressure, release of hormones, increase of tension in your muscles, rapid breathing, and sweating.

Some stress can actually be good for you, as it can motivate you. But all the physical symptoms of stress can make your body weaker, breaking down its immune system. So stress for a longer period of time than a few days can be very dangerous.

Think of it this way; If you bought a car and then drove it around recklessly, not taking proper care of it, the car will break down. You are putting way too much exertion on the engine to keep it running for very long.

Your body is the same way with stress. You have to consciously take control of and manage stress, or your body will begin to run like a broken down car.

Unfortunately the fast paced living we are used to is designed to put your body into a state of stress from the very moment you wake up! It begins with the sharp sound of an alarm bell, followed by the stress of the morning commute, add coffee and sugar filled snacks and your body is beginning to get hit hard...and all of this before the work day has even begun!

By the time you get home there is so much stress stored up in your body that you may even find it difficult to allow your mind to relax. You have probably been "storing" stress in your body for years and don't realize it. This leads to trouble relaxing and sleeping, one of the most common symptoms of stress.

You may even have searched for the best possible way to help you go to sleep fast, trying to seek some relief from a stressful day. If you learn how to manage your stress better, then you will have more energy at the end of the day. This makes it easier to wind down the mind and drift off into a nice deep peaceful sleep.

“Stress is harmful to the body as well as the mind.”

Time Magazine January 20, 2003

Take the stress test below to get an idea of how much stress you have in your life.