Learn More About Stress, Tips Against Stress

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coping with Chronic Stress

There are some people who only get stress from time to time and there are others who suffer from chronic stress. Obviously, it is easier to deal with stress that only arises occasionally, while it is almost impossible to get away from chronic stress.Chronic stress is a condition in which stress arrives routinely and can often stay for days, weeks, and even months at a time, leaving people almost unable to think about anything other than everything that there is to worry about .
Unfortunately, the mere sense of worry is not the worst the worst of it. It also leaves people fatigued and unable to concentrate and it can lead to problems with memory and even leave people unable to sleep right. Then, in its worst forms, it can even lead to a complete nervous breakdown, leaving the sufferer incapable of doing anything.On top of the mental symptoms, chronic stress also leads to a weakened immune system, leaving a person vulnerable to disease.
Then, if left unchecked, chronic stress will cause high blood pressure, coronary disease and even strokes. This is because stress tends to elevate the blood pressure, which is very dangerous if it continues too long. And as the heart continues to pump too quickly, it will swell up and eventually break down. Also, stress tells the body to create more platelets, which are designed to stop bleeding in cuts. Unfortunately, these can also lead to blood clots, such as those that cause hearts attacks and strokes. Thus, chronic stress can have serious repercussions on a person's physical health.One source of chronic stress can actually be post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is a syndrome in which the person has had some sort of sudden, severe stress that has shocked the mind so fiercely that it is incapable of moving beyond that moment. In fact, there is research showing that a severe shock to the system can actually change the chemistry of the brain so that it is becomes suddenly accustomed to stress and it actually desires to stay in a state of stress. Thus, instead of moving beyond a severe shock, the brain is stuck in it and it is almost addicted to the sense of stress.
Thus, rather than finding a way to come to grips with the problem, the brain is actually trying to return to it so that it can feel that shock again. This may seem to be counterintuitive, since the stress is usually a very unpleasant one, but the sudden rush of chemicals to the brain is not unlike using a drug. And, after that experience, the brain wants more of those chemicals in order to get its "fix".However, a sudden shock is not the only source of chronic stress. In fact, chronic stress can also result from a long period of stress.
This may come from an intense period of work, or a rough period of time with the family, or even a project that was both enjoyable and a high priority. Just like post-traumatic stress disorder, the brain has become accustomed to having all those exciting chemicals flowing through it, so wants to return to the days when it was working at such an intense rate. Thus, once the brain is tuned for stress, it immediately goes back to it like a junkie returning to a dealer.The problem, of course, is how to get the brain to get less accustomed to stress.
Unfortunately, this is not easy, since the brain's chemistry is now attuned to the feeling and its receptors now have a heightened sensitivity to stress. This is not easy, but it can be done.People with chronic stress should seek relief through exercise, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep every night. All of these activities will help balance the mind and allow it to work more clearly while easing fatigue and the inability to concentrate. As well, a long vacation can provide some relief, as the simple act of getting away from it all will give the mind a chance to relax. Or, for the most severe cases, a person suffering from chronic stress may want to see a counselor or therapist who can help them through their memories and find some solutions.
However, there is a certain stigma attached to this form of therapy, so people often shy away from seeking it. But people suffering from chronic stress should be afraid to ask for help and these people are more than happy to provide it.Though chronic stress is difficult to deal with, it is not an impossible syndrome. Sufferers simply need to come to grips with their stress and find solutions that will work for them. Though it is a tough road to travel down, the rewards are immense for both mental and physical health. Thus, once chronic stress has been found, it should be dealt with immediately.
by: Trevor Dumbleton
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Recognizing Acute Stress

For those who are familiar with stress, there is a distinct difference between regular stress and acute stress. While regular stress is a part of daily life in the hectic world of today, acute stress is an altogether different animal.While stress is certainly a problem, considering that it can cause a weakening of the immune system, problems with memory, an inability to concentrate, and coronary disease, acute stress is something else.
In fact, acute stress can actually cause a complete mental and physical breakdown.Acute stress is caused by the most severe circumstances. It is often the result of threatened or actual death, serious injury, or some form of physical violation, such as rape. The person suffering from acute stress usually feels some sort of revulsion or horror at the sight of the event, or from the experience of the event. Then, after acute stress, the person is at serious risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Furthermore, the experience of acute stress can have lasting, even permanent effects upon the person who suffered the acute stress and they may not be able to fully adjust to life after the event.Acute stress is, at its core, a form of psychological trauma, not unlike physical trauma. The person is in such a form of mental distress that the brain is almost incapable of coping with the stress and shuts down. The person who suffers from acute stress feels a sense of numbness and they are unable to connect to the world outside.
They cannot adjust to the reality that surrounds them and they are, in many ways, stuck in the moment when they suffered the acute stress.The problem with acute stress is that it creates a sort of loop tape in the person's mind, in which they continually replay the event over and over again without being able to stop it. The event is so completely consuming and yet so terrible that the person who lived through it continues to think about it until they are almost incapable of moving beyond it.Unfortunately, the results of acute stress are not merely limited to inward issues.
If left unchecked, acute stress can result in anxiety, inability to concentrate, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even nervous breakdown. Thus, acute stress is no minor issue. In fact, it must be dealt with quickly in order to prevent serious repercussions upon the mind.If the symptoms of acute stress, such as detachment, anxiety, or a general desire to avoid anything that may remind the person of the event that caused the acute stress, it is generally considered that the acute stress has transitioned into post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, anyone who has suffered acute stress should seek some sort of treatment so that this does not happen.The first form of treatment that comes to most peoples' minds is psychotherapy.
The sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist are at least familiar to people and they are very useful for treating acute stress. However, many people shy away from psychotherapy simply because of the stigma attached to it.Another method of therapy for acute stress is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is designed to help people deal with their problems or fears through a combination of treatments all working toward the same goal. The cognitive portion of CBT treats the mind and helps it think differently about its memories. Then, the behavioral portion helps the person by exposing them to things that will force them to confront their fears or their problems.
The behavioral method is already well known as a treatment for phobias and the cognitive treatment is familiar from psychotherapy. However, by combining these methods into one holistic treatment, CBT can bring about some very good results.Another method for combating acute stress and its aftermath is through medication. Depending on the symptoms, a doctor might prescribe an antidepressant, an anti-anxiety drug, or perhaps some other form of medication. However, people must be very careful with these mood-altering medications, since they do tend to alter the way they think.
Thus, people taking medications like these must monitor themselves and see how they react to their effects.Overall, acute stress is manageable and it is treatable. And it should be treated, as it can lead to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even a complete mental breakdown.Though people may think that they are handling it fine, acute stress is a form of mental trauma that is essentially comparable to physical trauma; the more severe the trauma, the more severe the results on the person. Thus, anyone who has suffered from some traumatic experience that doesn't seem to want to go away should seek treatment as soon as possible. Though people can't change what happened to them, they can do something to prevent the memories of it from taking over their lives.
by: Trevor Dumbleton
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Acne And Stress

Stress - Since your skin in your largest organ, how you live can sure influence how healthy your skin is. And stress, not necessarily "bad" stress, but rather certain external and internal stressors, factor into this health equation. So let's take a look at how to handle these stressors with regards to acne prevention. External Stressors- A goal of acne prevention would be to keep your skin pores clear from clogging and becoming infected and irritated, resulting in blemishes and inflammation.
So you need to take a look at your external environment throughout the day for factors that could trigger skin pore clogging. Here are some examples of what to look for: grease, oils and sun, like being around open fryers in kitchen areas, or around machine oil and grease in workshops or factories, or out in the sun all day on a construction jobsite. Too much oil, grease or sun on the skin can clog pores and trigger acne and other skin irritations. Minimize contact by wearing long sleeves and other protective wear and gear and discussing further options with your dermatologist or healthcare provider.
With regards to being out in the sun, note that a small amount of sun each day can be fine and healthy. However, extended periods can trigger the sebaceous glands to create more oil as your skin dries out. At the same time, the dried out skin needs to be cast off or shed at a faster rate than normal. The resulting extra oils and dead skin make a wonderful environment for pore clogging. So here, too, use protective clothing for outdoor activities and apply sunscreen; oil-free products are best for acne-prone people, and those with a minimum protection of SPF 15 and both UVA and UVB protection. Internal Stressors - Internal stressors like anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, depression and a variety of other internalized emotions, can trigger chemical reactions inside your body that can result in acne flare-ups and other skin irritations.
What happens is that these emotions can set your adrenal glands to work creating more cortisol, the substance that in turn causes your sebaceous glands to produce increased amounts of sebum oil, excessive amounts of which can be blocked in pores. Same old story: extra oil + extra dead skin cells = blocked pores, triggering acne flare-ups. With internal stressors, though, the results are usually "inflamed papules" or small, solid inflammations (or skin elevations that do not contain pus), instead of whiteheads or blackheads. To combat internal stressors and prevent acne problems, here are some suggestions. Get plenty of rest and sleep a recommended average of eight hours per night.
Try to maintain regular hours each day, regardless of which shift your work. Some say to focus on reducing SWAT: reduce your stress, worry, anxiety and tension, so journal a little each day mentioning any "SWAT" stressors you've felt. And focus on those that may seem overwhelming or to be taking too long to "end," seeking help from others or other resources as needed for stress management. Check with your dietician or healthcare provider to establish and follow a regular well-balanced dietary and exercise plan of action to keep your body healthy on the inside and outside. Keep a check list of "Things that Calm You" handy for stressful times, like reading a book, resting, listening to music, taking a walk, going out for an ice cream cone, etc.
by: Michael Raetford
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