Stress can be debilitating. It can interfere with your creativity. It can burn you out at best. At worst, it can cause chronic illnesses, diseases and even death. But perhaps you’ve just returned from a vacation, spa retreat or one of my stress management workshops, but you’re still stressed. Why hasn’t that healing and relaxing activity been enough to calm you down?
Stress comes in many forms. Acute stress is most common and occurs from short-term situational events such as going skydiving or getting in a car accident.
Symptoms of acute stress include:
- Emotional distress such as depression, anxiety and irritability.
- Muscular problems such as tension headaches, back pain and jaw pain.
- Digestion issues such as stomach ache, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome.
- High blood pressure, sweaty palms, cold hands and feet, dizziness and heart palpitations.
People can also suffer from episodic acute stress, which is enduring high level of stress for longer periods of time. A good representation of that is type A personalities who may have an exciting, but constantly chaotic and crisis-filled life.
Common symptoms include the following:
- Headaches that don’t go away, migraines, and hypertension.
If you’re enduring episodic acute stress, you may need professional help to support you in a complete lifestyle change to return you to a healthier way of being.
Chronic stress sufferers deal with day-to-day stress of having to endure work, family or other circumstances that feel unending and uncontrollable. They see no way out and may begin to accept and ignore their stress and get to a point where they begin to feel comfortable by it. Chronic stress however, can be fatal leading to heart attack, cancer, stroke and even suicide and violence. For more information on these types of stressors, you can read the full article on the American Psychological Association’s website.
Which type of stress are you currently enduring?
If you’ve experienced an acute stressor, you may still need time to heal, grieve and process the situation. Give your body and mind time to recoup and come down from an intensely stressful situation. Journal. Reflect. Share your story. Continue to practice deep breathing, and other stress management techniques.
If you’re someone who is constantly stressed because of your personality and crazy lifestyle, you many need professional support, help and encouragement to make drastic changes to slow down.
If you’re a chronically stressed out, acknowledgement that you’re stressed and need help are the first steps in getting back your life.
In all three situations, practicing stress management routinely can significantly help.
It’s taken sometimes a lifetime to accumulate stress. It’s taken a difficult childhood or a belief that success means never taking a break. It’s going to take some time to change your perception and lifestyle. Keep practicing healthy stress management techniques and you will start to feel relief.
Don’t think you’re stressed?
Take this quiz to find out how stressed you really are.
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