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Stress Overload - The Essentials You Need To Know

Aug 17, 2007
Everyone feels stress. It's a part of life. But when daily stressors become so overwhelming that they begin to manifest themselves in physical, emotional or behavioral problems, and then stress overload may be the culprit.

Stress Overload is caused when pressures at work or home become so intense, or last so long, that you begin to feel overwhelmed and out if control. This happens when the hypothalamus continually releases adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, which causes the body to react by increasing blood pressure and heart rate, opening blood vessels wider to allow more blood to be pumped to major organs, and large muscle groups, and glucose to be released by the liver to increase energy and stamina due to ongoing stress in one's life.

Keeping the body under constant "alert" can be damaging to the heart, lungs, brain and immune system. Chronic stress overload can cause serious health issues including: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and depression. It is a disease that must be treated to avoid long-lasting physical and mental affects on the body.

Signs of Stress Overload.
When bad stress is becoming detrimental to your health, your body begins to give off signs that stress overload is beginning. People with stress overload may begin to feel the following on a regular basis:

-Anxiety and panic attacks
-Constantly feeling pressured, overwhelmed, or hurried
-Irritability and moodiness
-Stomach ailments
-Headaches
-Chest pain
-Sudden onset of allergic reactions
-Sleep problems
-Overwhelming sadness or depression

What Causes Stress Overload?
Why do some people seem to thrive on stressful situations, while others crumble under its weight? Everyone deals with life's stressors differently. Some can easily shrug off a bad day (or several of them), while others continue to dwell on the pressures of day, long after they are experienced. Add to that an unexpected illness in the family, ongoing problems at work or home, or an overly crammed schedule, and stress overload may occur.

Some common stressors that may cause stress overload include:

-Exposure to ongoing violence
-Death of a loved one
-Ongoing problems at work or home
-An inability to relax
-Constant overworking
-A chronic illness in self or a loved one

Sometimes, a stressful situation can become so severe, the posttraumatic stress disorder results. This is a stress reaction that develops in people who experience such a traumatic event that their body and mind exhibits very serious physical, mental and emotional symptoms to the stress.

Anxiety too, can be a result of daily stress overload, which can make even the most menial stressor seem overwhelming.

Dealing With Stress Overload.
Stress overload can be dealt with by learning to: slow down and relax; a variety of relaxation exercises, or new coping mechanisms. But, sometimes, professional help and/or medication is needed to ease the stress being experienced while the patient learns how to better deal or eliminate it.
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