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Stress does far more than just make our life miserable, it affects our health in ways we may not even realize. It’s been proven to cause:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
I recently thought about each and every person in my life who I knew to be dealing with some form of illness. One thing they all had in common was this: They had each had a fairly high level of stress in their life before and up to their illness. Whether it was a very high-pressure job, caring for sick and/or elderly relatives or moving frequently…..each and evey person who was battling an illness had first battled stress.
It makes you wonder if it doesn’t beat a person down to the point that they’re more susceptible to trouble.
Even if stress didn’t affect our health, it robs us of so much happiness and THAT alone is reason enough to go after it with all we’ve got. When you factor in the turmoil it leads to in our relationships, it’s a wonder that we don’t spend our every waking hour plotting its demise.
Stress isn’t too tough to identify. People have different levels of stress, so their symptoms will often vary. Generally, however, the following are frequent signs of trouble:
- Nervousness, anxiety
- Depression, moodiness
- Memory problems
- Lack of concentration
- Irritability, frustration
- Overreaction to things
- Skin Problems – breakouts, hives, itching, psoriasis, eczema
- Cold, clammy hands
- Frequent colds, flu, infections
- Sleep disturbances
- Back, shoulder or neck pain
- Tension or migraine headaches
- Upset or acid stomach, cramps, heartburn, gas, irritable bowel syndrome
- Weight gain or loss, eating disorders
- Hair loss
- Muscle tension
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat, palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Chest Pain
- Trouble thinking clearly
- “Butterflies” and anxiousness
Stress, left undealt with, will manifest itself in the following ways:
- Road rage
- Frequent arguments and disagreements
- Frequent job changes
- Starting projects without finishing them
- Strife and conflict
- Frequent crying
Okay, we can all agree that none of that’s any good. Is it any wonder it affects our health so much?
Stress isn’t anything to be taken lightly, and it definitely isn’t anything that we have to live with. People often don’t realize just how much stress they had in their lives until it’s gone. You know how, after being sick with the flu for weeks, you almost feel like you’re on a high when you start feeling better? You forget how good it feels to feel good when you feel bad.
I’ve been researching stress for over a year now for TMFC. The next post will shed light on how to deal with stress and, ultimately, kick it out of your life.