What Is Stress?

Mar 21 08:45 2008 Wil Dieck Print This Article

Stress is a normal part of life. Stress is also one of the biggest factors affecting people’s health today. Here is some information about stress, its causes as well as a few things that can be used to counteract the affects of stress.   

You had a fight with your spouse. You have an impossible deadline for a project your boss gave you yesterday. Traffic is stalled and you are late to work again. Your car is making a strange noise and you know you don’t have any money for repairs right now. Mental health professionals have labeled these types of events as stressors. 

  Some stress is normal and even useful. It can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example,Guest Posting it can help you win a rugby game or finish an important project on time. It's your body's way of preparing to meet what appear to be difficult situations with focus, increased strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.


Stress causes the release of the hormones cortisol, epinephrine and neoepinephrine from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream. These hormones increase your heart rate, your respiration, your blood pressure, and your metabolism. Your blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to the large muscle groups, like your legs and back, putting your muscles on alert. Your pupils dilate to improve your vision. Your liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase your body's energy. Your body produces sweat to cool your body. All of these physical changes prepare you to react quickly and effectively to handle a perceived threat.


This reaction is known as the stress response, which is also so know as the fight or flight response. Working properly, the body's stress response enhances your ability to perform well under pressure. Unfortunately the stress response can also cause problems when it overreacts, continues to run or fails to reset itself properly.

  Good and Bad Stress There are two categories of stress. The first type, acute stress, is also known as the flight or fight reaction where the brain produces chemicals that tell the body to speed up, making it perform more effectively. This is the type of stress you’ll experience when another car pulls out in front of you causing you to hit your brakes suddenly. This is also known as distress. It is the most commonly-referred to type of stress and affects us negatively by raising our blood pressure, sending all kinds of chemicals through our minds and bodies and, if continued for long periods of time, it can result in anxiety or even depression.   Eustress is a positive form of acute stress. This is the stress you go through during positive events in your life, getting a promotion at work, getting married or buying a new house. These events are desirable but, just like distress, eustress can be equally taxing on the body, and if added together with other stressors can also have negative results on our health.   The second type of stress is known as chronic or long-term stress. This stress is abnormal and long lasting. It occurs when you don't let go of stress. There is strong evidence that this type of stress actually damages the brain, heart and immune system. Chronic stress causes a constant release of stress hormones causing your body to always be in overdrive, ready to fight that saber tooth tiger or take a beating from your attacker. Studies have shown that these stress hormones can actually kill nerve cells in animals and can probably do the same in humans.   What Causes a Person to be “Stress Out”?

When it comes right down to it, stress can be triggered by how we work or even relax. We don’t have to have some major triggering event to cause us to be “stressed out” we can even be stressed out even when we’re bored!


Although stress at the right moment can be a good thing, stress overload or stress that causes us to remain “stressed out” is not. For example, feeling a little stress about a project you have to complete can motivate you to work hard. Being stressed out about the project or the deadline you are under can paralyze you, making it hard to even figure out what needs to be done.


When the pressure is too intense or when it lasts too long you can feel overloaded by stress. When you try to keep all your troubles to yourself you can feel stress overload.


Things that stress us out can stem from our relationships, family conflicts, break ups, the death of a loved one, problems with co-workers or with work, trying to do too much and not taking time for you. All of these can cause us to be stressed and remained stressed.

Things like natural disasters, car accidents, assaults, fires, shootings, wars, etc can cause what is called post traumatic stress disorder. People who undergo these types of stressful situations often need professional help, which include hypnosis and NLP.


Some people are anxious and overreact to stress. With these people even small difficulties loom like crises. If someone frequently feels tense, upset, worried, or stressed, it could be an indicator of anxiety. This type of anxiety usually requires professional attention. Again, hypnosis and NLP has been proven to help these types of anxiety problems

  Signs That a Person is Overloaded by Stress

A person that has stress overload can develop physical symptoms, such as upset stomach, headaches, back and neck aches or sometimes chest constriction. Many people find it hard to sleep. Others experience sadness or even depression.


Some people experience anxiety or panic attacks. A person that experiencing panic attacks can suffer symptoms that include racing heart, hyperventilation or breathing difficulties, as well as chest pain, nausea or dizziness, headaches, shaking and trembling, and much more.


Other symptoms of stress overload can be a feeling of being constantly pressured, harassed and anxious. Some people become irritable or moody.


Since stress can affect the immune system some people experience allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma. Stress can also make people more susceptible to colds and the flu.


Some people deal with the symptoms of stress by drinking too much, smoking, overeating, or doing drugs. Although these can temporarily eliminate the symptoms, the negative affects of these types of behaviors far outweigh the benefits.

  Keep Stress Under Control

Since stress is unavoidable it is important to find ways to decrease and avoid stressful reactions to incidents in our lives. There are many methods, from NLP and hypnosis techniques to proper breathing, meditation, Tai Chi, massage, sound therapy and more that can help you counteract the affects of stress. For a more in-depth discussion about how to check the affects of stress go to my blog http://hypnowil.wordpress.com/


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About Article Author

Wil Dieck
Wil Dieck

Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy, a combination of hypnosis, NLP, breathing techniques from the martial arts and visualization used for goal setting. His practice is located in San Diego, California. For more information about Wil and his practice please go to http://www.TotalMindTherapy.net  or go to his blog at http://hypnowil.wordpress.com/

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