Stress Causes Physical and Mental Disorders

It has been proven beyond an iota of doubt that stress causes a variety of debilitating disorders that can be very harmful to our physical as well as our mental well-being. Those people who have a low tolerance for stress are at greater risk of contracting such physical and mental disorders. There are effective methods of dealing with stress, however, and this involves having a methodological approach to the treatment of stress. All of this starts with first recognizing the causes of stress and acknowledging that one is indeed overly stressed.

A few of the physical disorders that stress causes include heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, headaches, ulcers, colitis, respiratory disease and muscular tension. Some of these disorders can be debilitating or even potentially fatal. Some of the mental disorders associated with stress include anxiety disorders, mental illness and depression among others. Mental disorders are generally more difficult to detect and diagnose than physical disorders, making them much more dangerous than the physical ones.

Negative Effects Of Stress

Stress can be both a direct and an indirect cause of medical disorders in people. It all depends on the way in which our bodies react to stress and how well we cope with it. Stress causes our heart rate and blood pressure to rise, among other bodily reactions. If such reactions occur frequently, it increases our risk of contracting heart disease and respiratory ailments. Some people are overly sensitive to stress and it can cause them to suffer from anxiety and depression.

There are also some people who are more prone to developing the problems associated with stress, and they must understand how to cope with stress in order to avoid such problems. One of the major disorders that stress causes is diabetes. People who are stressed often overindulge in food, and this leads to an increased incidence of diabetes. Obesity is known to be one of the contributing factors to diabetes, which is very detrimental to a person's health.

Positive Effects Of Stress

A large number of disorders can be indirectly or directly linked to stress, many of which are potentially fatal. However, despite the various illnesses and disorders associated with stress, it also has a positive side, however. Stress can drive people to improve their performance and to work harder. Times of great stress are also excellent opportunities for people to show how capable they are. You must remember, however, that while occasional exposure to stressful situations may be beneficial to us, constant exposure is detrimental to our mental and physical well-being.

Often, the sources of stress in our lives are easily avoided, and may even be of our own making. As such, we know very well how to avoid or get rid of these sources of stress. A better understanding of the disorders and illnesses associated with stress will certainly be a great motivation for us to avoid becoming overly stressed. Properly managing stress is sure to give us greater confidence in all areas of our lives and avoid all the physical and mental disorders that stress causes.

Stress And Obesity – The Dangers Of Eating For Comfort

You know how it is. You stop for a break to unwind. Maybe you sit down for a tea or a coffee and without thinking your hand is there clasped around a cookie or a piece of chocolate.

Well you can imagine if you do that too many times the pounds start to pile on.

With obesity being such an issue nowdays you really can not afford to get into this routine. Today, obesity is recognized as a very serious health issue. In North America as much as 40 per cent of the population is obese. Being overweight is associated with many illnesses and is directly related to increased mortality and lower life expectancy.

There is a certain comfort in food though, is not there? And when you think about how we have been raised you can understand why.

When a baby wears one of the first instincts of a mother is to feed it, even though that might not be the real reason for the crying. Crying is the only way a child has of showing distress, whatever the cause. Over time the mother learns that putting something in the baby's mouth keeps it quiet and the child knows that in distress, eat!

OK so I have made this sound very simple but there is some science to back this up. Certain foods, carbohydrates, release the neurotransmitter dopamine which is commonly associated with the pleasure systems of the brain.

So, if food leads to pleasure you can understand how someone who is feeling stressed later in life might turn to food for comfort.

Being aware of what is going on is part of the solution. If you suffer from stress, and let's face it, who does not, the key is to find a non-fattening way to deal with it. I suggest you learn some stress reduction techniques like meditation, breathing exercises or maybe just going for a walk.

Here is a tip which you might find useful. Attach a rubber band (not too tight) around your wrist on the hand most likely to reach out for that cookie. The next time you notice that hand heading towards those fattening foods give the band a 'twang', and say to yourself 'no'. It'll sting a bit but the real intention is just to break your habit. By raising it to a conscious level in this way you can start to change your behavior. As soon as you say 'no' do the new piece of behavior instead.

It takes anything from 7 to 21 days to create a new habit. Start today and break the link between stress and comfort eating

Does Stress Trigger Migraines?

Stress is Not a Migraine Trigger

The general consensus is that stress is not a migraine trigger. Stress in itself is hard enough to quantify, so to label it as the trigger or even the cause of a migraine can be very dangerous.

But why do I get migraines when I'm stressed?

People will often experience the migraines more when they are stressed because the state can make them more susceptible to illness and other conditions.

Furthermore, when we are stressed we often change our environment or behavior to cope with the stress. For example, someone who is stressed about their work may work for longer at their computer without taking the regular breaks they normally do. Or they may skip a meal to try to meet a deadline.

It is these changes during times of stress that are often the real triggers for the migraines.

Common migraine triggers during stressful times include:

  • Hunger – skipping meals.
  • Eye strain – remember to take regular breaks.
  • Dehydration – water can go a long way to help avoid migraines.
  • Posture – very important especially when working long periods.

Stress Can Result in Misdiagnosis

Stress will often mask the real trigger for a migraine. If one accepts it as a migraine trigger, further diagnosis may not occur to reveal the true trigger of the migraine.

Why is Stress Reduction Recommended for Migraine Sufferers?

Stress reduction is a good thing regardless of whether or not a person sufferers from migraines. During times of low stress however, migraine sufferers are more inclined to keep track and control of their known migraine triggers, thus reducing the frequency of their migraines.

Signs and Symptoms of Stress and Burnout

For the past 10 years I have lived a fast paced lifestyle. Workaholism was my addiction. In my twenties, when I started my business I would work 7 days a week 10 hour days, then party and drink on the weekend, and not even think twice. I was driven and committed to creating financial wealth for myself. That all came to a screeching halt about 2 years ago when I reached a "wall." This term is commonly used in running but it clearly relates to our day to day lives.

When you reach the "wall" it feels like you can not go on anymore. That every ounce of your energy has been sucked out of your body.

I was working on franchising my business and moving into rapid growth, and I suddenly could not get out of bed in the morning. I had reached my "wall." Not only was I tired all the time, I had lost all my motivation and desire to do anything. Getting out of bed in the morning was a chore. This really scared me, suddenly my businesses began to decline and I started making very poor business and personal decisions. I felt as though everything was difficult and just getting through the day was a HUGE effort and energy drain. It kept getting worse as I continued to stay in denial with my signs and symptoms of stress and burnout. I refused to allow myself to slow down and admit that I was burnt out. It was not until I was forced into bed rest and crying every single day that I stopped and did some re-evaluation.
I decided it was time to simplify my life and create more space and time for enjoyment of my life and health. I sold one of my businesses and took 5 months off. Literally I just did the minimum to get by. I slept, read and nurtured my body mind and soul for 5 months.

I have since fully recovered with many lessons learned. I realize that I will never be able to work at the pace that I used to work in my twenties. I honestly do not want to work at that pace. Now I make sure I get plenty of rest, relaxation, down time and play time. I realize that my health and well-being is the greatest assets that I have and if I lose this then I will really be in trouble in my life. No amount of financial wealth can give you your health, if you have depleted your adrenals, and body.

Signs and symptoms of stress are not always obvious, you may mask the symptoms thinking that fatigue, headaches, forgetfulness, or illness are just a fact of life. Until you reach a mental breakdown, you will continue to keep forcing yourself towards chronic fatigue, unaware that your body is showing you signs and symptoms of stress. Usually whatever our vice is will we do more of when we are stressed. For example do you shop when you are stressed? Do you eat? Do you workout? Do you drink? If you find yourself doing more of these things almost excessively, that could be a clear sign that you are stressed out. Watch your own body for signs of stress.

Physical signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Frequent illness or colds
  • Headaches
  • Back Pain
  • Chest Pain
  • Heart Palpitations
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep Problems
  • Digestive Issues
  • Lack of Sexual Drive
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Emotional signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of Focus
  • Getting Angered or Irritated Easily
  • Sadness
  • Worry or Feeling Anxious
  • Feeling insecure
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Depression
  • Inability to process information
  • Feeling helpless

Tension Headaches Symptoms – How to Remove the Stress From Your Life

Stressful situations are unsuitable to deal with and can, in some circumstances, last for a long time. Pressure and tension in the workplace or at home are major contributing factors to the stress in many people's lives.

And while the deadlines, interpersonal difficulties and worries of daily life can be difficult enough on their own, they can also create a range of physical problems.

Sleeplessness, digestion problems, unhealthy gain gain or loss, and muscles tension can all be caused by ongoing stress.

One of the most disruptive stress-related ailments can be a tension headache. While it is not always easy to get rid of this type of headache, due to the possibility that there may be many causes, there are things you can do to decrease the discomfort of a tension headache.

Muscle tension or muscle spasms in the shoulders and neck can trigger or contribute to the pain of tension headaches symptoms. If you find that you are prone to tension headaches, paying particular attention to muscle tightness this could help you be forewarned about when a headache is about to start.

For tension headaches symptoms are worsened by muscle tension, it may be helpful to use a heat pad, hot water bottle or muscle ache cream to ease the tension in your neck and shoulders.

This may not prevent or remove the tension headaches symptoms, but it may reduce the severity and help you relax. In fact, any routine that helps you relax at the end of the day may be beneficial in preventing tension headaches.

A warm shower or bath, a cup of herbal tea, or a cooling washcloth draped across your eyes can help relax away the tension at the root of your headaches.

Some tension headache sufferers may find relief from deep breathing exercises or light stretching routines to give the body a chance to unwind after a stressful day.

Making time to relax at the end of the day even when not suffering from tension headaches can help prevent stress from building up to the point that it could trigger a headache.

While different headache sufferers experience different types of pain associated with tension headaches, this type of headache is frequently categorized by pervasive pain or a sensation of pressure across the entire head.

Visual disturbances, such as spots or lights interrupting the line of sight, are usually signs of a migraine headache rather than a tension headache.

If your headaches are occurring or occur in conjuction with nausea or visual symptoms, a diagnosis from a physician will help rule out other types of headaches and other possible medical issues before you try to find the best way to treat your headaches.

If it turns out that you are dealing with repeating tension headaches symptoms, your physician may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers for you to take as needed. Acetaminophen can be effective, as can aspirin and ibuprofen.

Your physician should be able to advise you on methods for combining pain relievers with stress reduction techniques for maximum relief from your tension headaches.