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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are You in Stress Overload?

Stress overload is when a person undergoes more strain than he or she can handle. The weak economy has taken a toll not only on finances, but also on our nerves, and we are plagued by uncertainties of the future.

According to Margaret Lunney, RN, PhD and Professor at The City University of New York, stress overload pertains to "excessive amounts and types of demands that require action. It is a human response that is experienced as a problem and contributes to the development of other problems."

Stress overload can be brought about by several factors such as intense pressures, illnesses, long-term difficulties, and leaving little time for relaxation. Long-term exposure to stress can even lead to serious health problems that can disrupt nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, cause digestive problems, sleep problems, speed up the aging process and the list goes on.

There are many things one can do to reduce the impact and cope with symptoms such as Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, and of course massage. So make sure to book your appointment for a relaxing massage at Skinsational Skin & Body Spa to start your way to stress-free living!

Keep reading below for more tips on how to manage stress.

How much stress is too much? (
Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, it’s important to know your own limit. But just how much stress is “too much” differs from person to person. Some people roll with the punches, while others crumble at the slightest obstacle or frustration. Some people even seem to thrive on the excitement and challenge of a high-stress lifestyle.
Your ability to tolerate stress depends on many factors, including the quality of your relationships, your general outlook on life, your emotional intelligence, and genetics.

Things that influence your stress tolerance level:

Your support network – A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against life’s stressors. On the flip side, the more lonely and isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.
Your sense of control – If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, it’s easier to take stress in stride. People who are vulnerable to stress tend to feel like things are out of their control.
Your attitude and outlook – Stress-hardy people have an optimistic attitude. They tend to embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humor, accept that change is a part of life, and believe in a higher power or purpose.
Your ability to deal with your emotions - You’re extremely vulnerable to stress if you don’t know how to calm and soothe yourself when you’re feeling sad, angry, or afraid. The ability to bring your emotions into balance helps you bounce back from adversity.
Your knowledge and preparation – The more you know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last and what to expect, the easier it is to cope. For example, if you go into surgery with a realistic picture of what to expect post-op, a painful recovery will be less traumatic than if you were expecting to bounce back immediately.

Am I in control of stress or is stress controlling me? (The Language of Emotional Intelligence by Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.)
  1. When I feel agitated, do I know how to quickly calm and soothe myself?
  2. Can I easily let go of my anger?
  3. Can I turn to others at work to help me calm down and feel better?
  4. When I come home at night, do I walk in the door feeling alert and relaxed?
  5. Am I seldom distracted or moody?
  6. Am I able to recognize upsets that others seem to be experiencing?
  7. Do I easily turn to friends or family members for a calming influence?
  8. When my energy is low, do I know how to boost it?

Try taking this quiz to find out how much you are affected by stress:

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