What Is Stress?

Physical

trauma 

injury/surgery

over-exertion

 intense physical labor 

environmental pollution from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, radiation, noise, EMF

hypoglycemia

hormonal imbalances

illness from viral, bacterial, fungal

fatigue

inadequate oxygen supply 

nutritional deficiencies

food allergies and intolerances

dehydration

substance abuse

musculoskeletal misalignment or imbalances

Psycho-spiritual 

A crisis of values

lack of meaning and/or purpose

moral and/or ethical  dilemmas

joyless striving (instead of productive, satisfying, meaningful and fulfilling work)

misalignment with one’s core spiritual beliefs

Psychological

emotional stress from resentments, fears, frustration, sadness, anger, grief, bereavement

cognitive stress from information overload, worry, guilt, shame, jealousy, attachments

self-criticism/self-loathing

perfectionism

anxiety/panic attacks

not feeling like yourself

not feeling like things are real

sense of being out of control/not being in control

perceptual stress from beliefs, roles, stories, attitudes, world view

Psychosocial 

marriage difficulties with partner 

relationship with siblings, children, family 

relationships at work with employer, co-workers, employer 

lack of social support 

lack of resources for adequate survival 

loss of employment, investments, savings 

loss of loved ones 

bankruptcy 

home foreclosure 

isolation 

Identifying the types of stressors - or demands of life - and your reaction to them is the first step in understanding triggers so you may reduce the stress response.

When we are unable to manage the impact stress has on us, the burden of that chronic stress begins to take its toll on the body.  It can manifest and show up in our body as headaches, heart palpitations, constricted throat and shallow, constricted breathing, clammy palms, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, allergies, asthma, autoimmune syndromes related to the ineffective functioning and suppression of the immune system, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, upset stomach, ulcers and esophageal reflux syndrome.

Become self aware and recognize how stress may be showing up for you:

How is your cognitive function?

Anxious thoughts, fearful anticipation, poor concentration, difficulty with memory

 

How do you feel emotionally?

Feelings of tension, irritability, restlessness, worries, inability to relax, depression

 

Are you having behavioral changes?

Avoidance of tasks, sleep problems, difficulty in completing work assignments, fidgeting, tremors, strained face, clenching fists, crying, changes in drinking, eating, or smoking behaviors

 

What do you feel in your body? 

Stiff or tense muscles, grinding teeth, sweating, tension headaches, faint feelings, choking feeling, difficulty in swallowing, stomach pains or cramping, nausea, vomiting, loosening of bowels, constipation, frequency and urgency of urination, loss of interest in sex, tiredness, shakiness or tremors, weight loss or gain, awareness of heartbeat

How are you feeling in social environments? 

Some people in stressful times tend to seek out others to be with. Other people withdraw under stress. Also, the quality of relationships can change when a person is under stress.

Content from Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. training

Unfortunately stress has become so common in our lives, it often goes undetected and we ignore the signs.  Did you know that insomnia, eating disorders, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, circulatory problems, some heart related conditions, and even diabetes and some cancers are rooted in stress?   Isn't it crazy that most of the health disorders can be related to stress?  So what can you do to reduce your stress?