The Effects of Stress – Part 1

By now, most people are probably aware of the psychological consequences of an overly stressed life, including anxiety, depression, anger, and even social withdrawal.

Stress can also lead to negative emotional and psychological consequences like low job satisfaction, low self-efficacy, and interpersonal issues.

However, fewer people know about the many physical symptoms which occur from too much stress.  Stress can cause muscle tension, breathing problems, heart problems, blood sugar spikes, and even digestion problems.

There is no doubt stress negatively affects us physically & psychologically, but how can we reduce its impact on our health? One of the best ways is by avoiding stressors in the first place.

Stress usually comes from significant life-impacting situations like a personal health crisis, financial issues, and practical challenges like moving to another state or country.  Although these types of stress are usually impossible to avoid, we all have parts of our everyday life that causes us personal stress that may be unique to us.

For example – something that creates stress in one person may not have the same effect on another. For some, it can be overloaded with unrealistic work demands, and others can be triggered into stress by a negative comment on their social media profile.

The key takeaway is that we need to develop self-observation skills so we can know and understand our personal triggers so we can do our best to avoid them.

This week, start a simple journal and record when you feel stressed and what is either happening around you or what you were thinking about just before it occurred. Becoming aware of these patterns and themes will help you avoid or better manage the stressful moments in your life.