Stress certainly helps us keep running and get things done, but when we fail to take a real break from stress, our health suffers. Find out how to change your relationship with stress and get on the right track.
People do not realize that they may have an actual relationship with stress. Stress is often easily ignored, at least the effects of it can be, and this can lead to major problems.
Addiction to stress is common, and not well-understood, but it can be changed for the better, improving your health and well-being.
Expert stress consultant Heidi Hanna, who wrote “Stressaholic: Five Steps to Transform Your Relationship With Stress,” claims that she can measure exactly how stressed a person is by instructing them to “relax” for about two minutes.
A person who is excessively stressed will often be very uncomfortable with just the thought of having to shut their eyes and breathe deeply. Because stress releases various neurotransmitters and chemical substances in the body and in a person’s brain, understanding the effects is important.
Many of the chemicals released help to make us more productive and efficient, it’s when the balance is tipped that problems can occur.
Hanna states that the true problem is not the stress or even the amount, it is the fact that most people do not properly recover from stress with efficient strategies.
Stress itself is actually a stimulant, almost like a drug. When we allow our bodies to recover from the stress, the effects are not harmful, but, Hanna states, “the problem is that we have this nagging, chronic, constant stress where we're checking in all the time.”
Technology only makes the problem worse, because taking a real break becomes nearly impossible, especially if you are addicted to stress.
To overcome a stress addiction, awareness is critical. Understanding that being busier is not necessarily a good thing is important, and that having stress as a stimulant or as a distraction can be unhealthy.
Becoming aware allows a person to develop more adaptive strategies for handling the stress, and also allows them to take steps that will help to break the addiction cycle.
Learning how to take a break using meditation, as an example, can help the brain recover from the effects of stress and allow calming to occur. Learning how to temporarily disengage in healthy ways can have substantial healthy effects.
So, turn the smart phone off for a few minutes, take some deep breaths and try to relax. Understand that this is just as important as all of the other things that need to get done, and you will be healthier and more productive as a result.
SOURCES: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/09/overcoming-addiction-to-stress/;http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm; Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net