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normal stress

Is Stress Normal?

Can we call any nature of stress “normal”?

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Your body has a natural defence system and does what it has to defend itself as and when necessary. This is known as “the fight or flight reaction” and is often associated with situations of fear.

Stress seems to be an unwanted attribute, but is it actually normal?

When this response kicks into gear, your body reacts in different ways. Then you may find that you become more energetic, alert and focused. Some people may find that they become frightened and truly just want to run away.

Positive Stress CycleThe fight or flight response is a way that your body deals with stress, as well. Too much stress can put strain on you both mentally and physically while a certain amount of stress is actually healthy. A woman’s body experiences a good stress when going through child-birth. While the body is under pressure, and the woman is experiencing a multitude of emotions, the outcome is a good one. The birth of a new child.

Stress becomes a problem when the cause of the stress is extreme. Your body reacts by producing a variety of symptoms. These include things such as headaches, muscle spasms, back pain, anxiety, loss of appetite or increased appetite, mood swings and an upset stomach.

Stress LevelSome people are able to manage their stress to a higher level. This boils down to how you deal with different circumstances, your attitude, your support network and your own current state of health. People who are suffering from a chronic illness tend to have much lower tolerances to stress.

So while stress is a normal bodily reaction, it is imperative to know when your stress levels are too high. You will know when it is time to take action once you know how you react to stress.

You need to know how to take control of your life and reduce your stress levels. This means learning how to say no, when necessary. You don’t have to be a super hero and no-one is asking you to be one.

Instead learn how to balance your professional and private lives and ensure that you schedule in time for yourself regularly. While anyone can become stressed out, those people who have demanding jobs seem to be at a much higher risk. Do not be afraid to ask for time off or to refuse to work an extra shift, your health depends on it.

Useful and FREE resource: Stress Management

Signs of Stress

Take signs of stress seriously

As I stated before, stress, in itself, is not a bad thing. What is a bad thing is a long exposure to stress. This will “wear out the machine”, so to speak.

But what are the signs of stress? And do we need to be alarmed at each one of them?

No, of course not. There are some normal signs of “normal” stress. They are not necessarily pleasant to feel, but they are not dangerous, and they are quite useful, in fact. Then, if the stress gets more intense or is keeping on, the signs become more unpleasant and in this case, there are good reasons to stop and change behavior. If not, you will get into a stressed state, close to burnout.

The problem is that most often, people first will react when they are “in the red”, so to speak.

Let’s see the signs and how alarmed you should be:

Normal signs of normal stress:

– From time to time, quicker heartbeat, (not constantly!)
– From time to time, feel a bit shaky or small tic appear.
– You sweat more than usual.
– Feel like your mouth is dry.
– Tickling in your belly or stomach.
– Your belly or chest feels compressed.
– You are tense.
– You often feel like urinating.

Those signs are normal for a tense and stressed situation. Of course, it is not pleasant, but there is no danger.

Signs to take as a warning:

– You are very tired.
– You do not sleep well at night.
– You speculate all the time.
– Your body is in constant movement (fingers, legs, feet…)
– You are irritated.
– You cry easily.
– You are quiet.

In this case, it means you have to stop now and to act in consequence. You have been under too much stress (and possibly for too long), and it is now time to take a break.

Signs that now, you HAVE to stop:

– Forgetful, you forget things; you are not “here”.
– Problems with eczema or different sickness.
– Aches you can’t understand where they come from and why.
– Unsociable.
– Overusing stimulants: cigarettes, alcohol, etc.
Problems with your stomach.
– Bleeding.

StressedIn these cases, you have gone far too long and far too far and you are close to end up in the hospital or burned out. It is of outmost importance that you stop whatever you are doing, or your body will oblige you to do so… and that will not be a pleasant way to do it.

Be aware of the signs of stress. Do not overlook them. Take them seriously. No need to panic at the first signs, and of course, everyone can take a bit of stress (even though some of us are coping better with stress than some others). But do not let it go too far. It is your health; we are speaking about.