Everyone reacts to stress in a different way. When a person is faced with a stressor, there is a natural fight or flight release of energy. This natural reaction is what kept our ancestors alive in the face of man-eating beasts and other threats. In modern times, this stress-induced state is more of a prolonged, lower level of reaction. People have jobs that are hurry, hurry, hurry and now, now, now, that are constantly pressuring them into fight or flight mode. They also have marriages that can bring up the fight or flight response. On top of both of those stressors, there are teenagers to raise. The way you react to stress will affect everything from your personal relationships to your health.
Oftentimes, when a person is under stress they focus in on the problem at hand and tune out other needs like social niceties. They can become short tempered, snappy, and sometimes downright rude. If left unchecked, these anti-social behaviors can work to isolate the individual even when they are not under pressure. The first step in solving this problem is to become aware of your tone of voice and the reaction of those around you. If you spend more time focusing on other people and less time thinking about yourself, you will find that your stress level decreases. You may also find an ally who can help you accomplish your tasks and therefore relieve the pressure that much more. By including others in your life, you are able to share your burdens.
Many people go into a robot-like state when they are under extreme stress or mild stress that lasts for a prolonged period of time. The robot works their hand to their mouth without any conscious thought on the person’s part. It can be frustrating to gain weight when you are already worried about many other things. One way to combat this is to work to change your relationship with food when you are not under stress. Another way is to look for other emotional releases. If you need to lock yourself in a bathroom stall and have a good cry, give yourself permission to do so. The problem with stressful eating is that people often feel guilt once the stress has passed. This can lead to eating disorders and social isolation.
Some of the physical symptoms of not handling stress well include (but aren’t limited too) aches and pains in the muscles and joints, nausea, chest pain, loss of sex drive, lower immune system, insomnia, being tired all the time, and an increased need for alcohol, cigarettes, or other stimulants. While you may not exhibit all of these symptoms, you may be struggling with one or two because of the way you react to stress. There are several effective tools to help you learn to control your stress levels in a healthy and positive way. As you do so, you’ll find that your life is more enjoyable, your personal relationships are more fulfilling and your health will be better. You may even find yourself excited to try a new hobby, travel, or meet new people.