When we think of stress we tend to think of it as something only high-flying execs must deal with. Well that’s certainly what I used to think but, boy, how wrong was I?!
Stress can affect all kinds of people, it isn’t just for those who have deadlines to meet and an angry boss breathing down their neck! Most people don’t take stress seriously because we simply adapt to it and accept it in our lives like it’s a normal way to live.
Stress can be simply defined as any pressure you have in your life either external or internal. Everyday stress is promoted by the fast pace of life and demands at work and at home. Anytime you feel pressure your stress level is too high. Watching the evening news can be a low-level stress trigger, because even though you are sitting on your comfy couch with a cup of tea, your brain is still responding negatively to the situations onscreen. Even if these issues don’t affect you directly.
Being continually exposed to low-grade stressors turns on your stress response. We all live with low level chronic stress and it’s almost undetectable until we start to notice things in the body and the mind.
When stress symptoms begin to appear, they are first mental and behavioural… Signs of impatience, anxiety and lower mood appear.
The next symptoms are physical; fatigue, loss of sleep, minor pains and discomfort. All these factors deplete our energy and impact on our health until we learn to take these symptoms in our stride. However, over time disease can begin to reveal itself, hypertension or heart disease being common examples.
A common reaction to stress is known as “Fight or Flight”.
Fight or Flight was a very useful response in the time of Early Man because quite literally humans had to be ready to fight an attacker or run from a predator on a regular basis. In these circumstances the body would undergo a series of physical responses.
Your body does all of this to preserve you… it does all of this to keep you safe as this is your minds number one job, to keep you alive.
Fight or Flight is clearly useful if we find ourselves under attack, but it puts a great strain on the body. Unfortunately, our body reacts to all stressful situations the same way, even when there isn’t an immediate threat to life. This is because our lifestyles have evolved a lot more than our brains have. In the case of someone who is trying to get pregnant, stress can stop the flow of hormones required to conceive. Animals can postpone delivery of their young if they sense the presence of a predator. The human body behaves in a similar way.
If you have a lot going on at work and at home or you’re somebody who needs to be in control of every aspect of your life, your brain can interpret these stressors as a risk to you and behave appropriately.
You may be asking yourself, what can I do to manage and ultimately reduce the stresses in my life?
Obviously, we can’t give up our jobs or take time off from our families, but we can make a little more space in our lives, a little more ‘Me Time’ if you like! Here is a short list of things you can do to help you reduce stress:
It’s worth taking daily stock of all the pressures you deal with every day. Can you cut any out? Can your partner, a family member or a close friend carry some of the burden to make things a little easier for you? Sometimes having somebody you can talk things through with can help enormously. Remember the old adage; “A problem shared is a problem halved”.
I hope you enjoyed my blog this week and you find some of the techniques I describe above useful.
Much love until next time
Fertility Coach & RRT Practitioner
+965 6569 0294
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