The body is screaming: help me! How not to let stress break you down
Today we're going to talk about something that almost everyone has experienced. It is impossible to avoid stress completely, because it would make life boring and uninteresting. But it does not allow you to live, sleep, eat, make love, work, and raise children in peace. It's a hellish feeling that leads to a number of diseases and a loss of meaning in life.
Stress is a general reaction of the body to a very strong impact, physical or psychological, as well as the corresponding state of the nervous system of the body or the body as a whole. Stress can be different: it can occur both in response to negative situations and positive ones. In modern science, it is divided into stress and distress, i.e. a very negative type of stress that the body cannot cope with. Everyone experiences the first type of stress, but it is not harmful; on the contrary, it helps to mobilize strength and adapt to the situation. The second type is harmful to health and leads to severe mental and physical illnesses.
Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a biologist at Stanford University, defines stress as anything that throws the body out of a state of stable equilibrium. Stress is caused by any strong experience, it can be the birth of a long-awaited child or a big lottery win. When the routine of our lives is interrupted - for better or for worse for us - we need to quickly rebuild. The more unpredictable the situation, and the more effort it may take to adapt to new conditions, the greater the stress. The impact on health of large, one-time shocks has been studied the most, but some psychologists believe that another type of stress is no less (if not more) detrimental. We're talking about minor inconveniences and squabbles that literally suck up our energy, take up time, and make us angry and upset.
The bus is always late, and of course, so are you. My car sits in traffic for hours. A colleague at the next table talks too much. A mix-up in the accounting department means that my paycheck is late. The president is annoying, the marriage is unhappy, the children are problematic, the boss is a bore, the housing is not satisfactory, and there is no money. Accumulating, these small problems can be the last straws that break a person's health, especially if there is additional chronic stress in their life. To better understand stress, you need to know that life events themselves are not its cause. The main thing here is how a person perceives the situation.
The causes of stress are diverse, and the forms of manifestation are individual. But there are certain symptoms that you should pay attention to when your body is screaming: help! Behavioral symptoms of stress are "auxiliary" alcohol, gluttony or loss of appetite, fussiness, clenched fists, talking too fast or too loudly, aggressiveness, irrationality, restlessness, mood swings, anxiety on the emotional level, confusion, memory problems, inattention, racing thoughts, and vivid dreams. Physical signs include cold hands and feet, "tooth grinding", headaches, palpitations, sweating, indigestion, itching, loss of libido, neck and back pain, rapid breathing, tense muscles, weight loss or gain.
Severe stress harms human health quite significantly. First of all, physical health suffers because of it - we get colds more often, our chronic diseases get worse, and stress affects our appearance. All this becomes an additional source of anxiety and worry. A vicious circle is created. In general, a person tends to memorize any stressful situation, and it subsequently becomes a brake on his or her development, there is a fear of going further, and faith in oneself and one's abilities is lost.
What to do? The main thing is to pay attention to the problem, do not ignore it and do not wait for it to resolve itself; try to determine what exactly in the situation causes stress, think about what this situation means to you and remember that stress can always be reduced. Talk about the problematic situation with your loved ones, or better yet, with a specialist. For example, when I feel that I desperately need some kind of relief and the accumulation of negativity is off the charts, I go to my favorite cafe. I smile at passersby. I watch my red shoes kiss the pavement. As I was walking, I remembered a story by Ray Bradbury. The priest sat and waited for the streams of sin pouring outside the walls of the temple to bring streams of penitents to him. Only one came. He brought with him an incredibly sweet spirit and timidly asked for forgiveness for a great sin: the unfortunate man ate a lot of chocolate, which had become the alpha and omega of his existence. The holy father did not know how to confess the young man who came every day and told him how delicious it was to lick candy wrappers, how his blood sang to the unbearable drive of sweet black squares... And then the young man disappeared. Many years later, when the priest was already old and dozing in the confessional to the sound of rain, he suddenly smelled the subtle aroma of chocolate again and heard someone drop it: "Thank you for everything, your gift is in the offering plate." The old man fished out a bar wrapped in silver foil. And from then on, when despair seeped into the doorways of the church, he stood behind the altar and took out a chocolate bar and bit off a little. It was not communion, not the body of Christ. It was life. And it belonged to him. And the piece was so sweet. And the story was called The Sweet Gift...
The author's website is psymedvedeva.com.ua.