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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stress Types - Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Stress was created to help the human body get through life's turbulence. When danger is sensed, the body's natural "fight or flight" response kicks in, as a way to prepare itself for battle. The adrenal glands kick into action, flooding the bloodstream with high doses of adrenaline to give the body energy.

Heart rate quickens and blood flow increases, giving the body's major organs and muscles more oxygen. Endorphins are released to work as natural painkillers. Breathing increases and digestion slows, all in attempt to help you better face what imminent struggle lays ahead. Nature's way of handling something bad coming our way, stress can be good when it helps you focus and deal with an emergency.

Problems arise when stress levels continue to escalate, causing this natural fight or flight response to stay with you throughout the day. An ongoing struggle with a spouse, an illness, or an unruly coworker can all cause this fight or flight response to linger unnaturally. The nervous system senses prolonged tension and danger, and may continue to pump hormones and chemicals throughout the body that can deplete a person's natural reserves, leaving them feeling tired and sick all of the time.

A little stress can be a good thing - but too much is bad for anyone. While good stress empowers us to get a job done, or handle a tough situation on our own, bad stress can strip us of confidence, and the wherewithal to tackle everyday issues.

Too Much Stress Is Bad.
Too much bad stress, (or a stress overload), can cause severe problems with the body's immune system, making its victim more prone to simple illnesses like colds and flu, or more serious conditions such as infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal problems. Stress has also been linked to a higher rate of cancer, heart attack and stroke in some patients. In others, too much stress can lead to depression, which can cause serious mental and behavior problems as well.

What Causes Bad Stress?
Everyone reacts to stress differently; what bothers one person may easily be shrugged off by another. But, some of the most common stress-inducers are:

-New job
-Legal issues
-Financial problems

Recognizing The Symptoms Of Too Much Bad Stress.
The first step t overcoming bad stress is first, recognizing that you are experiencing it, than finding new ways to cope. Symptoms of a stress overload may include:

-Emotional Changes. Mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, trouble concentrating, anger and even feelings of agitation and tenseness may all be signs that your stress levels are hitting dangerous proportions.

-Feeling Unwell. Physical symptoms of stress can often be very subtle (an upset tummy, or trouble eating), or they can be more severe with extreme fatigue, throbbing headaches, chest pains, recurring diarrhea, or even angina and/or heart palpitations.

-Behavioral Changes are another sign that stress points are rising to an unhealthy state. Overreacting, anger, acting on impulse, withdraws and even a sudden need to quit or change jobs may be the result of stress overload.

Stress can be good or it can be bad. The best way to get control of bad stress is to recognize its symptoms, and learn how it affects your specific body so that you can better monitor and handle it. Learn to recognize how your body reacts to stress, and you'll be better prepared to stop it in its tracks.

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