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A Scientist called Hans Selye developed what became known as the General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS) in 1936.
What he discovered was that prolonged stress leads to three things:
Gastric Ulceration, Adrenal Hypertrophy
and Decreased Immunity.
In simple terms you develop bad digestion, chronic fatigue and catch illnesses regularly.
Add to this list hypertension, disrupted sleep and muscle tension, and you begin to get the picture of how stress effects people.
Stress is endemic and is probably the major contributor to poor health in the 21st Century. Just think of how many people are prescribed anti-depressant for stress.
How to cope with Stress.
Eat sensibly, have a good breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.
Avoid stimulants such as Coffee and Red Bull.
Avoid alcohol, it may temporarily relax you, but elevates your stress levels in the long term.
Get to bed in good time. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
You may consider seeing a counsellor to discuss your issues.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - MBSR - was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American Medical Professor.
It is now recognised as being one of the best methods of learning to cope with stress. There are a number of centres in Glasgow that teach MBSR.
Treatments such as Cranio Sacral Therapy and Massage are great for relaxing and releasing tension.
Take regular breaks at work. Working hard without regular breaks is a great way to build up stress and tension. If possible, eat lunch away from your work.
Equally, if you have a lot to deal with in your personal life, taking a day, or a weekend
elsewhere, longer if you can, just getting some breathing space will really help.
Even just a day away from the firing line will enable you to get some distance from the problems and help you to gather your thoughts.
Regular exercise can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins into your system, giving you a natural boost. Also, exercise will provide you with a break from brooding and dwelling upon your problems and troubles, but only if you perform the right kind of exercises.
Avoid exercises that allow you to brood (weight lifting, jogging, treadmills) and perform exercises that require your full concentration. Competitive sports such as squash, tennis, badminton and indoor climbing are all excellent.
It is important that you do not brood when you exercise because although you will be benefiting physically, you are still stressing yourself mentally.
Isolation is another problem experienced by stress sufferers. There will be times when you just want your own company. During such times, you can brood over and over again on problems and events and beat yourself up for hours on end. Try to use isolation more positively.
Occupy your mind by tackling a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword, read a good book or involve yourself in a hobby you enjoy.
Television, radio and newspapers can also supply you with a daily dose of negativity and help lower your mood. Try avoiding news programs for a week, and see how you feel.