Stress is the number one cause of premature death in almost every country in the world. Studies have also shown a huge spike in deaths by heart-attack and stroke following war or natural disasters, showing that high-stress situations can even cause sudden, unexpected death.
Most of us may not have to worry about these short-term effects, but the long-term damage caused by stress can be much more insidious and reduce our overall quality of life.
The consequences of stress are experienced in every aspect of our lives, including emotions, behaviours, cognitive ability, and physical health. In fact, almost no part of the body is not affected by it.
Even worse, the symptoms of stress are varied and often vague, while individuals can experience results very specific to themselves. Nevertheless here’s a checklist of the most common symptoms you can check to see whether you’re suffering from stress.
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
• Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
• Feeling overwhelmed, experiencing a feeling of loss of control
• Finding it impossible to relax
• Developing low self-esteem, lack of self-worth and general feelings of negativity
Physical symptoms of stress include:
• Low energy
• Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
• Aches, pains, and tense muscles
• Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
• Susceptibility to colds and infections
• Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
• Nervousness and shaking, tinnitus, clamminess
• Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
• Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
• Constant worrying
• Racing thoughts
• Forgetfulness and disorganization
• Inability to focus
• Poor judgment
• Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
• Behavioural symptoms of stress include:
• Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
• Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
• Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
• Exhibiting more nervous behaviours, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
What happens when I suffer from long-term stress?
Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:
• Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
• Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
• Obesity and other eating disorders
• Menstrual problems
• Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
• Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
• Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon
Using Synctuition to combat stress
The best approach to stress is to manage it before you start developing any serious symptoms. Some people will tell you to simply change your lifestyle and cut out the things that cause stress, but that is a luxury many of us simply cannot afford. In most cases, it is our careers and family responsibilities that cause the most stress, and these can’t simply be cut out.
What you need is a relaxation routine, one that triggers the body’s natural relaxation response in order to start combating the effects of stress. The problem with many relaxation techniques is that they end up adding to your stress levels, however unwittingly.
The need to be at a certain destination at a certain time, deal with strangers or prepare and study in advance makes many traditional relaxation techniques less effective.
Synctuition offers a scientifically proven, personalised way to achieve a deeply relaxed state, improve the quality of sleep and rest and generally combat and lower stress levels, all done at a time and place that suits you.