A while ago, on my way home from lunch, I witnessed 3 armed men jumping out of a small vehicle in the traffic and trying to hold up some commuters at gun-point.
Fortunately, they were unsuccessful in their attempt and the entire incident was over in a few seconds, but I found myself very rattled by this encounter. I resorted to eating an entire packet of fruit liquorice on my way home (which is something that I almost never do!) and for the rest of the week I felt tired but could not sleep well. A few other minor problems which I encountered, were blown totally out of proportion in my mind and I reacted irritably to almost everything.
Exactly 1 week later, I spoke to a small group of people on how to manage stress and avoid burnout. This talk highlighted how stress, whether it be acute (sudden/ severe) or chronic (long-term/ cumulative), can completely drain your physical and emotional energy, leaving you feeling empty, lethargic and unable to cope.
Here are some of the key features from the talk:
Stress can be both good and bad. In the right set of circumstances, stress can make you more productive, can help you to concentrate better and can help you to achieve certain goals. For example: if you do not place your muscles under enough stress when training, the muscle will never be forced to get stronger.
In some situations, sudden severe stress or prolonged, overwhelming stress can be bad. This would be like over-training a muscle so that it becomes badly damaged and gets weaker.
People who experience stress as bad are more likely to develop heart problems, diabetes, High blood pressure, experience weight problems and die earlier than their non-stressed counterparts.
Q: What is stress?
A: Stress is a demand which is placed on a system. The demand may be physical or psychological and results in both physical and emotional reactions which can be both beneficial and detrimental
Q: Can stress cause physical problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
A: Yes, stress can be associated with many different physical symptoms including but not limited to IBS, chronic headaches, jaw pain, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, weight changes and many others
Q: What is the difference between fear and anxiety?
A: Fear is a physical and emotional reaction to an actual and immediate threat, whereas anxiety is ongoing worry about a real or an imagined threat.
Q: How do I know if my kids are stressed?
A: Children are often unable to communicate their feelings to us because they do not have an adequate vocabulary to name their emotions. As a result, they frequently communicate using behaviour. The best way to tell if a child is experiencing any kind of distress is to know how they behave normally. Any change from usual behaviour could indicate an underlying problem.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2019.
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