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Top 10 Things that Bring On Chronic Stress
Stress is a completely normal physical response to incidences in your life that, for whatever the reason makes you feel threatened or afraid. When your brain feels that the situation you are in is dangerous, whether it’s real or not is unimportant to your mind, then your body goes into self-preservation mode. Your heart will pound faster, and as a result, your blood pressure rises, your heart quicken, your muscles will tighten up. All these things happen as your body prepares itself for that fight, flight, or freeze course of action.
Unfortunately, your body cannot tell the difference between stress from your overly demanding boss, that almost car wreck you barely missed, or if you are about to be eaten by a bear. There are some stressful situations in life that simply cannot be avoided; however, there are other triggers that will hype up your stress level without you even being aware of them. Here is a list of the top 10 stress events that you need to avoid or find ways of solving.
1. A Negative World Outlook
Are you the optimist or the pessimist? Do you constantly see the what if’s? What if you lose your job? What if your spouse leaves you? What if terrorists take over the country tomorrow? What if you miss that big shoe sale? If those are the kinds of messages you are feeding yourself on a regular basis then it’s no wonder your body is feeling that flight or fight response. Were you aware that people with an optimistic view of life have a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who classify themselves as pessimists?
Start nipping those negative thoughts in the bud and think of all the good things that can happen. Whether you think negatively or positively, the amount of work is the same, so why not think those good thoughts?
2. Childhood Trauma
Even though your childhood is far behind you, those traumatic events that may have happened to you at that time never really leave you subconscious if you haven’t dealt with them.
Those memories will kick up stressful feelings without you ever being aware of it.
3. Anger Issues
You don’t even actually have to fly off the handle to feel stressed. Merely thoughts like; he was so rude!
Or I should have gotten that promotion instead of her, can cause your body to fill with those stress hormones that you do not need.
4. Feeling Lonely
Human beings are very social creatures.
As a species we have always traveled in groups or lived in tribal types of settings. Feeling cut off from others can trigger that primordial part of your brain, the amygdala to set off a distress signal.
We may have evolved in many ways, but not our survival instincts, which say that we need other humans for our survival.
Numerous studies show that people who belong to a supportive network of other people have a 50 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who have no support.
5. Working for a Living
Ok, almost everyone has to actually work to earn a living.
However, when you are working to the exclusion of everything else, that old adage, “All work and no play” is a good example.
Even when you love your job there are thing that will stress you out on occasion, but when you are doing a job you detest or when you are selling your honor or integrity to cut a deal, that’s when chronic stress is going to show up in your life.
6. Unhealthy Relationships
We’re not talking about that fight you had with your in-laws last week, we mean those toxic, dangerous relationships that make you feel angry, nervous, or humiliated almost constantly.
Healthy relationships lower your stress level but if some of your peeps make you feel anything but good most of the time, it’s important to reevaluate those relationships for the sake of your mental health as well as your stress levels.
7. Feeling Out of Control
When you are experiencing feelings of helplessness, or that you are in a situation that is out of your control, your body is sure to respond with those stress hormones. Find out super foods that balance your hormones.
When you feel helpless your body is ready to deal with that situation by fighting or fleeing in order to protect you, whether you are aware of it or not.
8. Grudges and/or Resentments
OK, so you weren’t picked for the 6th grade basketball team, but to continue to hold onto grudges is to add fuel to that stress fire in your brain.
Your brain doesn’t understand that these things happened years ago, it only knows you are upset right now, so it responds in kind with stress hormones.
9. Worry Wart
Constantly worrying about what is going to happen (in a negative manner of course) will make your amygdala go into overdrive.
When you feel yourself starting to head down that “what if Russia invades Alaska, if Jeb Bush is voted in as President, if ostriches are allowed to marry, if my son doesn’t pass his math exam” road, you need to stop and get those negative thoughts under control.
Don’t go there; your stress response is going to go with you.
10. Feeling Hungry
Seriously, if you weren’t aware of it, just being hungry can trigger a stress response. Your body doesn’t realize you are dieting or that you are stuck in an extra-long meeting, it just thinks that you must be hungry because there is a food shortage and your stress levels will go through the roof. Read also about 8 worst mistakes of modern diets.
Long term, chronic stress leads to serious health problems.
Chronic stress will interrupt every system in your body. Stress can lower your immune response, increase your risk of stroke or heart attack, increases the aging process, and even rewires your brain making you even more susceptible to depression.
Remember that while you can’t control or stop all stress in your life, you can learn to deal with it and accept that no one is perfect, so you don’t have to be either.