Understanding Stress

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by Long Van, D.C.

The holiday season can bring a lot of fun and enjoyment, but it will also cause stress.  The amount of emotional and physical strains that a person puts in their mind will affect the body.

Learning to control your stress will prevent a lot of damage to your mind and body, especially when you have been in a traumatic incident.  Stress will affect your body healing rate and slow it down.

Understanding Stress

Stress manifests in various ways.  This can take the shape of stomach problems, headaches, depression, anger, lack of sleep, impatience, and irritability.

Know the Types

There are at least three different types of stress 1:

  • Routinary  – generated from daily work, family, and other activities
  • Change-related – as a result of sudden changes in lifestyle such as job loss, sickness, or relationship loss
  • Trauma-based – resulting from events that have put you in life-threatening danger such as vehicular accidents, natural disasters, war, or physical attacks. This can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Beware of Chronic Stress

Stress is normal. But when left unchecked, it becomes a chronic condition, which  can do serious physical and mental harm. Physically, for example, you become more vulnerable to viral infections and all kinds of diseases.

“Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body.” It can lead to depression, physical pain, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, weight problems, heart disease, memory problems, fast aging, among many others. 2

Watch Out for Signs

How often do you hear the question from your friends, family, and colleagues, “How are you?” And you say, “I’m okay,” “Good,” or “Fine.”  Really, how are you? You have back pain that won’t go away.  You haven’t been sleeping well.  You forget things.  You worry over the smallest things.  You are generally unhappy and pessimistic.  You are prone to sudden bursts of anger.  You get dizzy every now and then. You are unable to concentrate on anything.  You have lost your sex drive.  You have heart palpitations. Your cold or flu keeps coming back.  You have bowel movement problems.  You’re food binging.

Yet you say, you’re fine.  You have so gotten used to being stressed that you don’t know anymore that you have it.  Well, if you have been experiencing any one of the things above, or similar, then you certainly have it.

Understand the Causes

You might think stress is caused only by negative incidents or events in your life.  Think again.  Preparing for that family Christmas party can give undue emotional and physical strain.  Your daughter’s wedding.  A job promotion. A new house.

Any kind of activity or event—positive or negative—can cause stress if you do not know how to deal with them.  Once you know and understand what is causing it, deal with the situation immediately.

Footnotes:

1 “Five Things You Should Know About Stress,” National Institute of Mental Health; accessed 12/6/2017
2 “Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes,” Helpguide.org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health; accessed 12/6/2017

References:

1 “Five Things You Should Know About Stress,” National Institute of Mental Health; accessed 12/6/2017
2 “Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes,” Helpguide.org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health; accessed 12/6/2017

Related Article: Brain and Body Talk: Stop Stress or Injury Cycles

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Dr. Long Van

Author: Dr. Long Van

Long Van, D.C. joined the team at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians in 2008. He has experience in helping the human body function properly through the natural approach, and enjoys reading up on new information concerning medical conditions and associated treatments available.

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