Stress: it surrounds us every day in so many different ways – the first day of school or a new job, marriage, moving, having a baby, financial problems, meeting new people, coping with an illness, the death of a loved one, or simply having too many things to do in too little time!
We’ve all been there, right? All of these situations can be considered “stressors” – they create stress and elicit a bodily response. Some stressors are happy occasions while others are scary and make us more anxious or uncomfortable. Then, there are those that are life threatening and cause intense fear.
Let’s look at a stressful situation as an example: the wedding of a child – something I just went through!
The stress of finding the right place for the reception, the hunt for the perfect dress, getting the venues in line for the preferred dates and times, picking out invitations and favors, finding the best photographer, baker and DJ, wondering if those invited will come… the list goes on and on! And, of course, can I afford all of this?
A super happy occasion, but, all of these dilemmas are a source of stress and cause different responses in each individual involved. Whether stress is good or bad, it can evoke the same physical reactions.
So, what are some of the reactions to stress?
You may find yourself in fight-or-flight mode with your adrenaline raging. This is good if you are in a situation where you need to have increased strength or stamina to avert disaster, such as an accident or a fire.
Other times the reaction is more subtle. You have an upset stomach, headache, chest pain, or trouble sleeping. Maybe you feel tense all over or you feel anger or resentment. Or, maybe you find yourself totally wiped out – you’ve reached your limit. We’ve all been there at one time or another!
So, what are the consequences of stress?
Limited stress can be of no consequence because the body has many built in compensatory forces. Too much stress or a poor stress response can lead to crippling physical or mental illness. For this reason, it is imperative that we all learn to recognize our stressors and find ways to deal with those stressors, keeping us in homeostatic heaven.
I found this information provided by the Mayo Clinic to be helpful – it gives you some great ways to help relieve stress. Nova Medical Group also has a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist on site who can help you with stress management and coping mechanisms.
So, what you do to relieve your stress?
-Posted by Diane Fenlason, MSN, FNP