Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? What exactly is stress? Stress is your body’s reaction to a harmful situation. Your body has a chemical reaction that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This is known as a stress response. During the stress response, your heart races, breathing quickens, your muscles tighten and your blood pressure rises. This is how you protect yourself.
Everyone reacts to stress in different ways. What causes stress with one person is not always stressful to another person. Some people also handle stress better than others. Small doses of stress are not bad, as sometimes they help us to accomplish tasks or goals that we have set. Too much of anything is not good for you, so too much stress could be harmful.
According to webmd.com, some of the affects of stress can be emotional symptoms, such as:
- Being easily agitated or moody
- Feeling like you are losing control
- Not being able to relax
- Having low self esteem, feeling depressed
Some of the physical symptoms could be:
- Having low energy
- Having an upset stomach including diarrhea or constipation and nausea
- Chest pains
- Maybe some jaw pain due to potential grinding of your teeth at night
Some of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms include:
- Not being able to focus
- Using poor judgment
- Changes in appetite, this could be eating too much or not eating
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes
- There are many ways to relieve stress. Some methods are:
Meditate - research shows that daily meditation can help ease anxiety and make you more resilient to stress
Take a 5 minute break and take some deep breaths by slowly inhaling through your nose and exhale through your mouth
Decompress by placing a heat wrap on your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and try to relax your neck, face and upper chest
Using a tennis ball between you and the wall and leaning into the ball and holding for 15 seconds and them move the ball to another spot can help to relieve tension.
Using a tennis ball between you and the wall and leaning into the ball and holding for 15 seconds and then moving the ball to another spot can help to relieve tension.
Exercise, yoga and walking can help also, bearing in mind that treadmill lubrication is important if you perform any of these workouts on treadmills.
The affects of stress could definitely affect your life insurance rates. Did you know when you apply for life insurance, you typically are required to take a medical exam and submit your medical records?. If there are signs of poor health due to chronic stress, your rates may be higher than someone without these symptoms.