Modern life is creating stress and we all react the same way. We experience the adverse effects of stress in our body, our pulse pressure is increased and we feel the tension in our muscles. The causes of stress in modern life emerge from the many obligations we have to handle everyday to the modern way of negative thinking.
We have all experienced stress periods in our life. This is something normal. Indeed, in controlled levels stress can be constructive!
Is this a period in your life that you have many outstanding obligations; Do you worry about the future? Do you experience problems at home or at work? Do you work many hours and you are not resting enough? Do you feel trapped in situations that you cannot change? If the answer is «yes» even for a single question be careful because you may engage in the vicious cycle of stress, which weakens the immune system and is the cause of many psychological and physical disorders.
The mechanism of stress
Stress triggers a whole mechanism that gives us the ability to be physically ready to face a risk or run away. During this reaction specific hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released thereby increasing the heartbeat, slow down digestion, increase the flow of blood in most muscle groups. Many other functions of the autonomous nervous system change giving the body more energy and strength.
When the alleged threat is subsided, the organism is designed to return to its normal state. In modern life however, stressful stimuli are continuous and stress is daily so the body cannot relax. The pressure builds up and eventually causes damage to the body.
What causes stress in modern life?
Previously people lived a less intensive live, following more closely their internal clock. In recent decades the pace of life has accelerated dramatically and most of us experience our days as an emergency situation, which requires continuous action and no rest. Since there is no time for rest and leisure, we move more and more away from ourselves and become more and more stressed. The main reasons that cause stress in modern life are the following:
Too many obligations
The chronic stress we are experiencing daily, like the stress caused by a bad marriage or a by a job that is too demanding is causing health problems. It is clear and proven than when facing chronic stress, the autonomic nervous system is affected and thus causing stress.
The stress in turns causes overwork, overwork causes exhaustion, exhaustion causes depletion, and depletion makes us collapse and also is the cause of various diseases. The first symptoms are relatively mild, chronic headaches and increased sensitivity to cold. As the stress cycle continues, health problems become increasingly serious in both physical and mental level.
An estimated 90% of doctor visits are related to stress. Most of the common diseases are associated with a chronic form of the insomnia, depression, mental disorders, muscle pain, hair loss, diabetes, sexual dysfunction and cancer.
When the enemy is our self
Sometimes we sabotage ourselves by being impatient with others or causing undue tensions due to psychological pressure. Some of the more common ways that we undermine ourselves and in effect create more stress are:
Sometimes the enemy is in our head. The way we talk to ourselves although generally formed in childhood, it follows us throughout our lives and plays a significant role to all our experiences. If we are accustomed to think and speak negatively then this is a major source of stress. Fortunately, it is never too late to learn the power of positive thinking.
Poor skills to deal with conflicts
Conflicts with others are a part of life and we need to know how to properly handle them so that our relations become stronger and not a source of stress. And this does not mean that we must be aggressive towards others, or to let them treat us because we cannot say «no».
Pessimistic people see things worse than they are in reality and that prevents them from seeing the possible solutions and opportunities presented before them.
Too many commitments
Everyone reacts differently to stress. Some withstand pressure more and others less. The undertaking of more responsibilities than someone can handle is a source of stress.
Relaxation: the best antidote to stress!
To reduce and manage stress, we need to make sure that our body and mind do not overtake more than they can withstand. This can be achieved by following a method of relaxation. What is happening in our bodies during relaxation?
- The type A waves of the body are synchronized.
- It improves metabolism.
- The brain is oxygenized better.
- HDL (the «good» cholesterol) is increasing and LDL (the «bad») is reduced.
- Endorphins are produced (hormones of «goodwill»).
- Pressure falls to normal levels.
What is the best and easiest way to relax?
1. Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and take some deep breathing and calm. Every time you inhale feel how beautiful it is to really relax.
2. Gradually relax the muscles throughout the body, starting with the face and ending with your feet fingers. Each time concentrate in one area of the body.
3. Talk to your self and be convinced that when you count to five and open your eyes, you will be completely awake and feel better than before.
4. Count slowly to five and open your eyes.