REDUCE YOUR STRESS!

The Cause and Effects of Stress

Fight or flight - how stress works ] Physical and emotional effects of stress ] Good or bad stress? ] When stress becomes harmful ] Beliefs that make you stressed ] Test your own stress levels ] Reduce stress with holistic therapy ] Aromatherapy and Lumie bodyclock ] Treat your stress ] End your stress with relaxation ] Reduce your stress with self-hypnosis ] Reduce Your Stress With Diet ] Overcome the startle response ]

We all experience stress; we cannot avoid it. Because of this daily contact with stress, we all have a vague idea of what it is and what it can do to our physical and mental health. But if you were asked to define stress, what would you say? Mental strain caused by the demands of life and work?

Specific answers for ending depression and reducing anxiety - from the authors of "Mastering Problems Of Everyday Life."

That would be a typical answer, but it does not reveal why a stressed executive develops an ulcer, nor does it explain why stress causes depression in one man and an ulcer or heart attack in another, nor does it suggest that stress can be a result of either boredom and inactivity or overwork. Obviously a comprehensive definition of stress will set the scene for a better understanding of the problem. This is it:

Stress is the reaction in an individual's body or mind when that person perceives a potential threat to his emotional or physical well-being.

An event or situation is only stressful if you perceive it (that is, interpret it in your mind) as threatening. For example, if you were confronted in a dark street late at night by a man obviously intent on robbing you, your reaction would depend on how well you believed you could cope.

If you were confident of your ability to defend yourself, you would remain much calmer than someone who expected to lose a fight. That is an obvious example of a situation which involves the possibility of physical harm.

However, as our definition of stress makes clear, the same principle applies to any experience which might affect your emotional well-being (i.e. your happiness, sense of security, self-esteem and so forth). Thus, for example, being criticized by someone is particularly stressful if you depend on that person's approval to maintain your own self-esteem.

Similarly, the break-up of a relationship is far more stressful when your emotional security depends on the relationship than when you are emotionally self-reliant. Thus there is no situation which, in itself, is stressful; even very dangerous situations only evoke a reaction if a person sees them as potentially harmful.

You can see that this is true if you consider a young child playing on the edge of a busy road. Although he is in grave danger, he may well be quite unaware of the fact, probably feels quite happy, and only when he has been taught that roads and cars are dangerous will he perceive the threat to himself and react in some way.

This view of stress emphasizes that a stress response is made up of different parts: the event, situation or environment in which a person finds himself, his appraisal of whether it is threatening or potentially harmful; and, lastly, his physical or emotional reaction to it. This reaction may be either a conscious action - such as leaving the stress situation - or a subconscious reaction.

(The conscious part of your mind is the part with which you think and observe the world; it is made up of everything in your mind of which you are aware while awake. The subconscious, by contrast, is outside conscious awareness, but nevertheless works 24 hours a day to control memory, thinking and sensory processes, and basic body systems such as breathing and digestion.)

Since a person's appraisal of a situation also involves subconscious as well as conscious processes, he or she may experience the symptoms of stress without knowing why. We shall discuss this in detail later in the chapter, but a simple example at this point will illustrate the idea. Consider a man who is stressed by his job but does not consciously realize that this is the cause of, say, his irritability.

The problem may have begun with a conscious thought (I hate this job!) which was then suppressed because it was unacceptable (But I can't leave it because my family needs the security of my employment). However, suppression of a thought from the conscious mind does not make it go away: it remains in the subconscious and produces a stress reaction of one sort or another. One way to deal with this is to find something that makes you joyful and pursue it as a pastime or career - alternative therapy, perhaps, such as Reiki healing or reflexology, or to learn the art of manifestation and conscious creation, so you can produce a better life for yourself.

Table 1 The effects and cost of stress

1 Subjective effects

Anxiety, aggression, apathy, boredom, depression, fatigue, frustration, guilt and shame, irritability and bad temper, moodiness, low self-esteem, threat and tension, nervousness, and loneliness.

2 Behavioral effects

Accident proneness, drug taking, emotional outbursts, excessive eating or loss of appetite, excessive drinking and smoking, excitability, impulsive behavior, impaired speech, nervous laughter, restlessness, and trembling.

3 Cognitive effects

Inability to make decisions and concentrate, frequent forgetfulness, hypersensitivity to criticism, and mental blocks.

4 Physiological effects

Increased blood and urine catecholamines and cortisol, increased blood glucose levels, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dryness of mouth, sweating, dilation of pupils, difficulty breathing, hot and cold spells, 'a lump in the throat', numbness and tingling in part of the limbs.

5 Health effects

Asthma, amenorrhea, chest and back pains, coronary heart disease, diarrhea, faintness and dizziness, dyspepsia, frequent urination, headaches and migraine, neuroses, nightmares, insomnia, psychoses, psychosomatic disorder, diabetes mellitus, skin rash, ulcers, loss of sexual interest, and weakness.

6 Organizational effects

Absenteeism, poor industrial relations and poor productivity, high accident and poor labor turnover rates, poor organizational climate, antagonism at work, and job dissatisfaction.

7 Sexual Effects

This website does not explicitly deal with the effects of stress on sexual relationships, although this is an extremely popular aspect of the subject.

Stress can cause low sex drive, erectile failure, premature ejaculation and anorgasmia. Here are some suggestions for useful information on all these subjects. For effective treatment for erection problems and more serious cases of complete loss of erectile failure, you can find treatment for erectile dysfunction, via self-help programs which are available at low cost with a high success rate. to find an effective treatment for erection problems.

For general guidance on the subject of sexual health and male sexuality, with a specific focus on the penile problems, testicles and prostrate, the most comprehensive resource on the penis on the internet.

And for information on all aspects of sex and relationships, try this website, which also has a great deal of information on stress and sexuality: it will also help you if you wish to know how to please your partner in bed and become a much more successful lover, with the power to please any woman in bed: click here for information on how to overcome delayed ejaculation and how to last longer in bed. It is written by the authors of this website, so good quality advice is assured.

8 Lack Of Control

One of the things which most people who are experiencing stress report is a loss or lack of control over their lives. If you'd like to experience ways to get greater control over what is happening to you, and what manifests in your life, check out www.therealsecretofsuccess.com for information about manifestation and the universal law of attraction.

Alternatively, you could try taking control by pursuing a new direction in life. For example, to reduce your own stress while serving others, you might try Reiki or learn to use Reiki in your life as a tool for stress reduction. Reiki training in Frome, Somerset, and Bath and Frome is available from an experienced Reiki master.

For emotionally based problems, it can be necessary to consult a qualified counselor.

Next page: perhaps surprisingly, a common mechanism lies behind all the different effects of stress shown above.

Fight or flight - how stress works ] Physical and emotional effects of stress ] Good or bad stress? ] When stress becomes harmful ] Beliefs that make you stressed ] Test your own stress levels ] Reduce stress with holistic therapy ] Aromatherapy and Lumie bodyclock ] Treat your stress ] End your stress with relaxation ] Reduce your stress with self-hypnosis ] Reduce Your Stress With Diet ] Overcome the startle response ]

EFT - Emotional freedom technique

EFT tapping is a new energy meridian therapy which can produce rapid and long lasting improvement in many difficult areas without the need for long term therapy. Your present issues may see challenging but EFT circumvents them, and offers a short term therapy for rapid relief from historic patterns of emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, and other trauma.  EFT - aka emotional freedom technique - is a powerful therapy, and offers hope in all negative emotional situations.

Video - how to reduce stress