STRESSED OUT – SELF-HELP
Everyone deals with stress from any number of challenges. Some are life threatening, causing extreme stress on many levels. There are also stressful circumstances occurring over prolonged periods which can result in a state of exhaustion and dis-ease. Globally, there is one suicide every 40 seconds according to the World Health Organization.
This “Stressed Out” blog will be presented in three parts. The first part is 7 Common Areas Stressing Us Out. It is common to experience stress in several areas concurrently. In part two, we will consider the physiological effects of stress and why we need to both monitor and control it. Part three covers natural, supportive ways you can successfully deal with it.
7 Common Areas Stressing Us Out
This area presents a number of different ways to stress us out. It may be a toxic or polluted environment, frequent long distance travel, illness, care giving, constant pressing deadlines, overwhelm from workload, work addiction, carrying multiple jobs to make ends meet, lack of direction and/or organization, job dissatisfaction, boring work without challenge, overwhelm from weighty assignments or worry about exams. There may also be difficulties due to poor management, labor disagreements or frequent teacher/student confrontations.
Unless you are marooned on an island like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, challenging circumstances arise between you and family members, friends, acquaintances, workmates, neighbors, landlords/renters, companies providing a dis-service, etc. Depending upon your degree of involvement, stress to you may be minimal or off the charts. Experiencing the loss of a loved one, divorce, all forms of abuse, and addictive behavior present undue stress for and extended time.
3) Health Challenges
It is perhaps one of the most common stresses– having to deal with a dis-ease or condition. Just being in a state of fear about contracting some dreaded communicable disease has many stressed out. When one is personally suffering or feels the pain of a suffering loved one, the stress can overwhelm. When hope is lost, feeling nothing can be done, the result is stressed, depressed and losing the will to live.
In the Huffington Post, an article from September 27, 2013, by Hope Yen stated, “Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.” People are stressed out from financial debt, student loans, inability to recover from financial losses, constant worry to make ends meet as well as worry about financial futures, bankruptcy and homelessness.
5) Global Crises
The global upheavals affect all of us. Populations are stressing in war torn areas and others worry that war is imminent. There are old and new pandemics being reported with escalating tolls on life. Pollution, crime, government upheavals and oppression, civil unrest, and many other man-made disasters occur. Natural disasters, too, cause extreme stress to those involved.
6) Lifestyle Habits
Unhealthy habits stemming from lack of knowledge, being in denial, or unwillingness to change contribute to added stress. Weight loss or gain, more susceptibility to colds, flu, ulcers, allergies, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, cancer or other serious problems can result. All of these as consequences are high stressors. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are often used for relief but cause additional problems of their own.
7) Emotional/Spiritual Inattention
Many people worry about their inability to keep emotions in check, yet the stress is not being effectively addressed. The need to attend to spiritual health may be totally missed altogether. This may evidence itself in various behaviors such as fear, lack of purpose, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, bitterness, anger and resentment. Not only is the individual stressed, but this behavior stresses out those in their constant company.
Albert Einstein said many profound things. This quote of his is very fitting for anyone dealing with stress: “
Being positive in a negative situation is a sign of wisdom and character.”
It takes wisdom to deal with extremely stressful situations, caring enough to take responsibility to effect a positive change. Strength of character becomes apparent when disaster strikes and a hero rises to the occasion. A holistic view helps us to see the bigger picture with greater understanding. Putting wisdom into practice, you can maintain a high level of health, survive and even thrive in the face of stress.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Stressed Out, explaining the physiologic effects of stress.