Stress … do you know anyone who doesn’t have it? It is beyond cliché to say that stress is endemic in modern life. It’s a fact. We hear about it so often that it has lost its real meaning. Stress is so often just defined as the body’s response to the demands of life. Stress really includes the mind and emotions as well. Emotional stress is the internal, conditioned reaction of a person to perceived external pressures. Stress is experienced as thoughts and feelings, as well as physical processes.
Stress can be caused by almost anything, from being late or hungry to stubbing one’s toe or losing a million dollar contract. Stress may be caused by both positive and negative life experiences. Some of the more common, highly stressful events in life include:
Since these events are often normal parts of the life cycle, it is clear: stress is a normal part of life. But how much is too much? Stress reduction is surely a multimillion dollar industry, when you consider everything from antacids and heart surgery to self-
Few people will deny being stressed at least once in their lifetime, but for many, stress can be ongoing and unbearable. Chronic stress can contribute to a myriad of mental and physical health issues. Research has linked high stress levels to:
Yes, stress is a normal part of life. But when the stress of life leads to drug abuse, chronic physical ailments or pain, an absence of pleasure or relaxation in life, lost sleep, lost or gained weight, or other significant changes for the worse, it is likely time to seek help. Some people may avoid asking for help, believing that in our modern, rapid-
Some will also seek a therapist. Traditional psychotherapy stops short of teaching stress management skills directly, but today, most Complementary and Alternative Medicine therapists know a few good stress reducers and can help you learn them relatively quickly. Since stress affects body, mind, and emotions, reducing stress can occur on these levels as well. For example:
If you're not sure what's causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-
Things you might want to write down include:
You can use the diary to:
Please note that any advice offered either on this site or in my practice is not meant to substitute medical advice. For medical advice, please consult a relevant medical professional.