Stress, Stressors & Symptoms

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What Is Good Stress?

When there is an immediate threat to your survival, such as being in the path of a charging bull, your “fight or flight” stress response can save your life and hence the stress response can be considered good as the body uses up the energy generated during the stress response.


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What Is Bad Stress?

In this modern society there are not many predators to be anxious about unless you are living in the jungle full of dangerous creatures. Instead, you have numerous situations, or stressors, that are not life threatening which may set off your stress response.
Your stress response still exists but is now triggered by various, less life endangering events. During these types of stressors, the energy generated is often not dissipated. You may learn to control your reactions but this does not counteract the stress response. In this modern world, sufficient physical exercise is often not undertaken to “burn off” the effects of your stress response and there remains a build-up of stress which can be described as “Bad Stress”.


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What Are Stressors?

You may experience the stress response any time you encounter something unexpected or something that frustrates you, and are termed “stressors.” There are many stressors but here are some of the biggest and most common ones:

  • Moving home;
  • A troublesome boss;
  • Getting divorced or separated;
  • Demanding children;
  • Traffic queues.


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What Are The Effects Of Unrelieved Stressors?

Greater exposure to stressors results in a more overactive “fight or flight” stress response until you end up functioning constantly ready to do battle, seeing potential threats all around you. In this “stressed state” you exhibit the physiological symptoms of high blood pressure, a fast heart rate or a shallow rapid breath. On top of this you will appear over sensitive or aggressive.
Unfortunately, activating the stress response can have some negative consequences if not relieved. The effects of a stress build-up include symptoms of: excitability, anxiousness, nervousness and irritability, and have implications of:

  • Reduced ability to work effectively;
  • Difficulty executing precise, controlled skills;
  • Focusing on good of the self rather than the good of the group;
  • Shutting out information from other sources with an inability to make balanced decisions.


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Can The Relaxation Response Prevent Stress, Tension Or Anxiety?

You cannot prevent or avoid all stress, tension and anxiety in your daily life. However, you can counteract it by learning how to produce the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the opposite of the stress response. If you elicit the relaxation response regularly, your resilience can be built-up to help cope with stress tension and anxiety.


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What Are The Symptoms of Stress, Tension And Anxiety?

The symptoms of stress and anxiety can be experienced through your physical body, emotional feeling, cognitive thoughts and behavioural actions:

Physical
Body
Symptoms
Emotional
Feeling
Symptoms
Cognitive
Thought
Symptoms
Behavioural
Action
Symptoms
Aches
and pains
Moodiness Memory
problems
Eating
more or less
Diarrhoea or
constipation
Irritability or
short temper
Inability to
concentrate
Sleeping too much
or too little
Nausea,
dizziness
Agitation Poor
judgment
Isolating self
from others
Loss of
sex drive
Feeling
overwhelmed
Seeing only
the negative
Procrastinating or
neglecting responsibilities
Frequent
colds
Sense of loneliness
and isolation
Anxious or
racing thoughts
Using alcohol, cigarettes
or drugs to relax
Skin conditions
and allergies
Depression or
general unhappiness
Constant
worrying
Nervous habits
e.g. biting nails, pacing
Aging

Long term symptoms resulting from constant stress can and do cause damage to your health and well-being! There are a variety of different ways you can combat stress and reverse the negative long-term effects depending on what suits you and your circumstances. If you have an emotionally stable mind, overreacting to stressful circumstances simply does not happen. This is because you are able to remain in a tranquil and reasonable state of mind.