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Stress. How does it affect your life? Stress, out of control, is a warning. We all have stress in our lives and a small amount is normal. It’;s when stress affects the way we feel and how we live our lives, that we need to look more closely at what’;s happening. There are many things that can cause extreme stress – your job, family, illness or finances, to name a few. Identifying what is causing your stress is essential. You may find that your job is the source but that you’;re taking it out on your family (while keeping it together at work). Until you sort out the source of your stress, managing it will be difficult.
Excessive stress leaves our bodies vulnerable to many diseases such as heart disease, skin diseases such as psoriasis and cancer, as stress lowers the immune system.
Stress manifests itself in many different ways including the following:
- Irritability (are you blowing up at people for minor issues?)
- Racing heart, clammy hands (this could be a panic attack which can take over your life)
- Feeling tired all the time
- Frequent colds
- Lack of hunger
Learn to manage your stress so you can lead a happier, healthier life. A few things you can do are:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
- Laugh – watch funny movies, for example – laughing is one of the biggest stress relievers
- Set limits and say no to requests that would create excess stress in your life by being assertive, not aggressive
- Get adequate sleep
- Incorporate relaxation techniques such as meditation into your life
- Develop hobbies and interests
- Socialize with those you care about
- Keep life’;s demands in perspective
There are also supplements that are effective in relieving stress and getting a weekly massage may be a great tension reliever. However, if you are unable to control your stress, seek professional help with someone trained in stress management such as a mental health practitioner. Stress is not something to ignore as it can greatly affect your future health and well-being.