Did you know that between 75 percent and 90 percent of visits to GP’s are stress related?
That job stress is a major factor costing businesses an estimated $150 billion dollars annually.
That stress related disorders are a major cause of rapidly increasing health care costs. And most worryingly that scientists alongside the medical profession are discovering more connections between high levels of stress and long-term health problems.
The thing about stress is that a little can probably be quite good for you. It can make you accomplish more, be more motivated. But there is a fine line between when good stress becomes bad stress.
To control negative effects in your life it is important to understand the effect of stress on your body, and what initiates a stress reaction.
When your brain perceives danger it sets in place a biological reaction. Your heart pumps faster, breathing accelerates and your muscles tense up and your senses feel sharpened.
These reactions are important because they enable the human body to deal with threatening situations and prepare you to escape the perceived danger.
This is called the flight or fight response. This biological response was an asset to ancient man. If he sensed danger, his body would instantly prepare him to fight or run for his life.
Of course for most of us this flight or fight response is no longer required on a day-to-day basis to physically survive, but these same responses equip us to meet physically, mentally or emotionally challenging situations.
Let’s say you have an important project which needs to be completed in three days. You put all your effort and energy making sure you meet this deadline.
At the same time your stress levels rise to help you complete the task. (Good stress). However if this stress continues at a high level for the next three days – or indeed longer. With you operating on a high level of stress continuously. It is not surprising that you start to feel “stressed out”.
Long term stress contributes to serious long-term health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure and ulcers.
It also makes you irritable, anxious and feel constantly exhausted. Not good if you are a busy mum. That is why it is important that you learn to recognise when the good stress turns to bad stress.