When facing stress, our body perceives these situations as a threat and reacts accordingly. However, most of the stressful situations we face do not need this physical response from us. It is the physical response that leads to chemical, and hormonal changes to occur, resulting in the symptoms associated with stress.
Just one stressful thought may give rise to a cascade of physical reactions within the body. If these responses are triggered continually such as with chronic stress, it can lead to fatigue. The purpose of the stress response is to help protect us from harmful threats, (the 'fight or flight response,') but if it remains in overdrive, being re-activated over and over again, it will cause damage to our bodies instead. When our system becomes overloaded, this can result in us feeling ‘wired,' nervous, edgy and tense. If the stress is left unmanaged, this chronic tension and anxiety can lead to exhaustion and finally burnout.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress is vital to managing it effectively. There are many different techniques of stress management, but the best results arise from using a mind, body and soul approach. This combines a variety of holistic methods to allow the body to rebalance. I shall discuss these in more detail in further articles.