When we were cavemen, life was simpler. Something was either a threat or not. If it was a threat, we evolved reactions that were based around physical exertion. So when a threat was perceived, our hearts beat faster, and we prepared to either fight or run away. This action is perfectly natural and is a vital aid to our survival. Once the physical exertion was used up, the body returned to normal functioning.
In modern life, we get threatened in many other ways. Challenges are made on regular occasions, our hearts start to beat, our blood pressure raises for a sprint, our muscles tense.... but we cannot run away..... and as much as we would occasionally like to.... beating up our bosses/colleagues will not solve anything. So this tension does not go away. The nervous system is overloaded, the muscles fill with lactates and knot up, the immune system becomes inhibited, the respiratory system is not efficient, and digestion is poor.
So what is too much stress. Most people agree that the majority of modern stress is caused by change. One of the human needs is change - but it has to be the right amount. If you don't get enough change, you will become bored and stagnate. This will result in stress. If change is unplanned and hectic, once again you will be stressed.
It's a balancing act, but recognising the symptoms is the first step to recovery:
- Lack of sleep or unable to rest.
- Poor memory.
- Knotted or tense muscles.
- Stomach pains.
- Difficulty breathing/tight chest.
- Dry mouth.
If you want to contact me about stress, please email me.