- Mental Health
Negative Effects of Stress
What is Stress
Stress is a condition of the mind which relects it symptom in the body. It is a physiological response to one's mental activities and, it is the way we think about a situation that determines whether or not we will generate it. We have allowed fear, loneliness and despair to disturb us over the years. Our state of mind is reflected in various aches and pains as well as in a number of stress-related diseases such as hypertension and ulcers.
Stress has no biological structure such as a virus rather it is the result of how our mind and body function and interact. Stress may show itself in alcoholism or in depression. It leads to sleeplessness and to the common cold. The causes of stress often go unrecognized and untreated (Nuernberger, P., 1981 ). If we are able to understand the source of stress then we can begin to alter and conquer it on our own.
How Some People Cope With Stress
Many people attempt to cope with their stress by drinking. The temporary "high" numbs painful emotions and seems to ease pressure - and this becomes a regular escape for them. The alcohol creates a short suppression of the sympathetic nervous system, but the benefits are however short-lived. One is then caught in a destructive cycle of drinking which creates more stress than existed previously. The pattern becomes habitual after a period of time and addiction steps in.
Regular use of alcohol is a known cause of chronic depression; it also creates more things to become depressed about as relationships, achievements and self-image also deteriorate over a period of time. Alcohol is just one example of a drug that causes stress on the body and mind, however, use of other drugs will have the same effect on your person.
We often assume that we need to be under stress in order to achieve high levels of performance; that competition is necessary in order to motivate increased efficiency. We have learned to be either very active or passive, but not tranquil or balanced. We have to learn to control our responses to the pressures all around us.
What Leads To Stress
Fear is an emotional disturbance that can lead to stress. We suffer from so many fears - fear of failure, rejection, fears from financial pressures, time pressure and deadlines. The fear of others' opinions together with negative self-judgments are so common that we fail to recognize the tremendous pressures that we are putting on ourselves to live up to some kind of perfection. All of this create and maintain a constant state of stress in the body. Our thinking and imagining lead to emotional disturbances and stress.
Constantly repeating fearful or negative thoughts (such as worrying and brooding) maintain the alarm response in the body and create imbalances. When someone repeats a particular action over and over, one that is associated with some kind of anxiety, then a habit is created which is a source of constant stress. This in turn can lead to the feeling that one is out of control, to a lack of self-confidence and eventually to the acceptance of stress as a "normal" part of living. We adapt to stress, accept it as a necessary evil - and this sets the stage for dis-ease. We need to help ourselves by re-conditioning our minds. There is freedom from stress which I will discuss in another article.
- Freedom From Stress
The health of our physical body is important to our survival, so the path to freedom begins at the most basic level. We are all familiar with signs and symptoms of structural stress. The symptoms vary from...