The Effects of Stress
Stress can be physical – a bad accident or too much exercise; or psychological – a bullying boss or a job with a lot of pressure that you can’t control. But they both have very definite and wide ranging effects on our bodies. But what’s odd, given that we know so much about stress, is how bad we are at dealing with it. If you go to the doctor you will probably be offered anti-depressant pills and told to learn to relax. Left to your own devices you will probably try to get by on booze, sleeping pills and snacking on sweets. Yet none of these measures are very effective – except relaxation, but when you are really stressed, just being told to relax is probably worse than useless. However, once you know what’s going on in your body when you are feeling stressed, it becomes much easier to work out how to handle it – and some of the best ways may come as a bit of a surprise.
They include eating the right sorts of food, learning to control your levels of carbon dioxide and concentrating on feelings that are loving and happy. Generally we tend to blame stress on the situation – the overcrowded train, the traffic jam, the crisis at work – but once you know what’s going on inside you, you’ll realise that you have a choice. You can allow your stress response to take over or you can learn how to control it. Learning how to control it not only makes you feel much better but you will also handle situations a lot more effectively. You may think that you are really stressed out because you’ve got neighbours from hell, a partner who doesn’t understand you and a boss who belongs in a locked ward. But we are going to show you how to halve your stress without changing your life, your wife (or husband!) or your job.
What's going on when I’m feeling stressed?
As soon as you spot a threat, your body starts pumping out a couple of hormones that are responsible for many of the classic signs of stress – adrenaline and cortisol. In the short term they are very useful for ......
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