The reality of stress

28Jan

What is Stress?

Stress is a natural human response to a challenging or dangerous situation.  When you perceive a threat or a major challenge, your ‘fight-or-flight’ response is either to fight what is stressing you or to run away from it.  The level and extent of stress you feel depends a great deal on your attitude to a particular situation.  A situation may be stressful for one person but for another a slight hiccup.

What Causes Stress?

Stress will affect people differently.  As much as its affects us differently, we are exposed to various stresses in life.  So what causes stress?  Here are some examples:

  • Having little work-life balance, working long hours or having a job you dislike
  • Living through a natural or manmade disaster
  • Surviving a life-threatening accident or illness
  • Being in an unhappy or abusive relationship
  • Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness
  • Being a victim of crime


How Stress Can Affect You

Stress is a normal part of life.  When we feel under stress our body kicks into a higher gear to deal with that stress.  An increase in our heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure is what our body is likely to experience in stressful situations.

Here are a couple ways stress affects us:

  • Emotionally – you may experience anxiety, depression, tension or anger
  • How we think – you may lack concentration, forget things, be indecisive, be apathetic or be left with a feeling of hopelessness
  • Your behaviour – you may increase alcohol intake, smoke more, experience insomnia or nervousness, be prone to accidents, fluctuate in your weight or develop an obsessive-compulsive behaviour


Managing Stress

It is almost impossible to remove stress from our lives.  However, there are some measures you can put in place to manage it.  Here are some ways you can start managing stress:

  • Exercise regularly, at least 3 times each week
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid sweet and fatty foods
  • Get plenty of sleep each night (aim for 7-8 hours)
  • Minimise your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Make time for rest and relaxation. When you do, try to spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself


Need Further Help?

Chemistworks is committed to the ongoing good health and wellbeing of its customers.  If you would like advice about managing stress, come and talk to one our friendly staff at a store near you.