How to Deal with Stress: Part 1
Americans are some seriously stressed out people!
Did you know that 75-90% of all primary care physician visits are related to stress of some kind.
Did you know businesses spend over $200 billion dollars yearly on stressed out employees. With all the tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines, and aspirin being taken every year to alleviate headaches and pain, the stress management industry is flourishing!
Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, alcoholism, road rage, violent behavior, and PMS and the root of most of these diseases and ailments is from excessive stress.
The most common phrase in our culture today is “I’m stressed out!” So let’s define what stress really is and means. In his 2005 National Bestselling book “Stress Less” Dr. Don Colbert defines it this way: “Stress is the pressure of life and how one perceives, believes, reacts, and copes with these pressures.” Webster defines it as “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.” No matter how you look at it, stress causes a physical and chemical reaction within our bodies. Over time, all those little stressors add up and cause severe long-term damage.
Question: What are the major stressors in our lives?
The really big ones tend to be traumatizing events like divorce, death, illness, poverty, and career issues. The more daily smaller event stressors are traffic, bills and debt, family issues, noise, crowds, sleep disturbance, isolation, hunger, and danger.
We can basically put stress into five categories: physical, emotional, mental, chemical, and thermal.
Physical stress arises from lack of sleep, overworking, excessive exercise, injuries, trauma from accidents, surgery, infections, disease, pain, and physiological changes.
Emotional stress arises from anger, hostility, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, and shame.
Mental stress arises often as a result of overwork, no fun, debt, marriage issues, children issues. This usually kicks into high gear when a person feels overwhelmed, has no control, or feels trapped with no way out.
Chemical stress comes from excessive use of substances such as sugar, caffeine, stimulants, alcohol, nicotine, food chemicals, mold, dust, and allergens.
Thermal stress arises from being exposed to extremes in temperatures for long periods of time. Examples would be heat exhaustion and hypothermia.
Question: How can we stop from being overwhelmed from all these stressors?
Just like everything else in life, you can make choices and accept responsibility. You can control your thoughts, you can control your social situations and create boundaries for your relationships, and you can control being exposed to chemically polluted environments by living away from them. What you perceive to be stressful in your life is just that. A majority of stress is a matter of what you think of outside stimuli. Ultimately, you are in control of making the choices to either lower or increase your stress.
Question: How does a life coach help reduce stress?
Life coaches can help you reprioritize your mindset and hold you accountable when life and stress is seemingly insurmountable. A coach will breathe life and faith into you and work with you to mitigate negative influences that may be heavily weighing on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.