Many individuals experience high levels of stress and do nothing about it. They continue to live their lives as though this is normal with agonising levels of worry, anxiety and a range of physical symptoms. This is both psychologically and physically harmful. Life events can trigger and maintain stress including family problems, uncertainty regarding work, financial problems, illness and major transitions. Even in the face of these, core lifestyle changes can help to reduce stress levels and have a positive impact on both mind and body.
It is important to know 5 things about stress:
1. Stress affects everyone at times. We are all susceptible to it and we can all become overwhelmed regardless of our personality or available coping resources.
2. Not all stress is unhealthy. Our ‘fight or flight’ mode can help to save our lives by prompting us to take immediate actions during times of danger. At the same, it can give us a jolt into action when we need get things done and make changes in our lives.
3. Chronic stress is harmful to your health. While some stress is inevitable and even helpful, chronic stress occurs when we have no release from it, both psychologically and physically. Our health suffers and this can affect many areas.
Different people may feel stress in different ways. For example, some people have digestive problems, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger or irritability. People under chronic stress are often prone to more frequent and severe viruses.
4. There are helpful ways to manage stress. Recognising signs of stress is an essential first step. Proactive steps include taking regular exercise, engaging in relaxing activity including yoga and meditation, setting goals and priorities, staying connected with others and limiting activities that impede relationships.
5. If you feel overwhelmed, a healthcare professional can help you. Seeking help and support from a healthcare professional, such as a clinical or counselling psychologist, can be necessary for conquering chronic stress.
Dr. David Lee, Clinical Psychologist HealthBay Holistic Centre
Address: HealthBay Polyclinic, Al Wasl Road, Dubai
Telephone No: 800 HBPC (4272)