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Chronic Stress

What is Chronic Stress?

Chronic Stress is the result of stressors that are interpreted as unresolved, unrelenting and inescapable. Sometimes it is clear what is causing your chronic stress but you can also feel the effects of this ongoing stress without understanding what the underlying cause is. You just feel anxious, have a short fuse, feel that you are always under the gun. This type of stress puts a lot of pressure on your physical body that can result in many chronic health problems that then become the focus instead of eliminating the cause of the stress in the first place. If the source of the stressor is something you feel unable to change or resolve, you can learn how to create a "stress buffer" between stress and you.

Stress is a normal part of life. It is related to your body's 'flight or fight' response to a real or perceived threat. When your body prepares to run or fight for survival, many body systems come into play. If your body calms down quickly after such an episode there is no problem. But, if your body stays in a heightened state of awareness for long periods of time, your body can start to reflect the affects of stress in various ways. Now days, your body can perceive public speaking with the same stress response as being hunted down by a saber tooth tiger!

Symptoms of Chronic Stress

Since 90% of office visits to a doctor are related to stress, the symptoms can take many forms. If chronic stress is a relatively new problem for you, you may notice vague symptoms that do not seem to be related to anything specific. In fact others may notice your stress level is high before you do. At first you may feel out of sorts, have low energy or feel fatigued. You may notice you are not sleeping well and that you are worried about things but not taking action. Physically, you may notice heart palpitations, even chest pains. You may notice that you have little patience and everything feels like a burden. These diffuse symptoms can turn into chronic health problems like irritable bowel syndrome, bruxing/clenching, anxiety, headaches and high blood pressure to name a few.

Can Stress Be Prevented?

Stress is not the same for everyone. What feels stressful to one person might be exciting to another. The body interprets excitement and fear the same way. In other words, when the body reacts to either of those interpretation a similar body reaction occurs. Stress also provides you with motivation. We call that optimal stress. It helps babies learn to walk or college students complete their education. There are times when striving for something is stressful. What can happen is that the body turns the stress response into a habit that lingers long after the stressor has ended or been resolved.

Types of Drugs Prescribed for Chronic Stress Relief

Often drugs that are prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, and other health problems are not specifically for stress but for the health problems that chronic stress creates. So, for that reason they are too numerous to list. Any drug that is given to calm you down, make you sleep can be avoided by learning how to manage your stress response.

Natural Treatment for Chronic Stress

Now, the breakthrough in consumer electronics has made another choice available to you to help you manage your stress response. Biofeedback devices are now available for home use so you can work with your physiology at your own pace. These biofeedback machines are of professional quality and can help you train your body to relax in ways that can negate the negative effects of stress without medication and without side effects.

Now, there are portable stress relievers like the StressEraser and the emWave that you can take with you anywhere. We also provide you with step by step instruction on how to get the most from your biofeedback device. So, don't wait until you have a chronic health condition before you take control of your stress.

Articles and content contained in LifeMatters are educational in nature and not intended for and should not be interpreted as medical advice or psychotherapy.