Am I Too Stressed Out?

I think we all can agree that stress is not a good thing, yet we all seem to be exposed to it, and some of us give a great deal of attention and dedication to stress, and for these people they will have short, potentially miserable lives, with a long bucket list of items they regret having not attended to.

Even though we are all subject to stress, there is a spectrum of response to stress, with extremes on either end. On the one side there are those who simply shrug off any potential of stress and it has little or no effect on them. On the other end of the spectrum, are victims of stress who surrender to all the overpowering negative influence of stress to subject them to suffering and depression, leading to the demolition of the autoimmune system and a shorter lifespan.

The struggle and strain associated with just trying to get by, can be too much stress for the average human being to sustain a long life, and certainly keeping any hope of fulfillment or happiness at bay.

I don’t know if anyone is immune to stress, for there is situational stress which is the result of circumstances which have placed someone amidst and whirlwind of incongruent thoughts about a particular situation that significantly challenges a previously tightly held belief, or instant radical change in lifestyle. This is considered short-term stress, because it represents a specific moment in time which is not prolonged, but like being subject to a gun-shot, grenade, or a bomb, the exposure to the stress is certainly short-term, but the post traumatic stress associated with this single act, can have long reaching implications if one suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can have far-reaching life-long negative effects on both the psychological and physiological health of such a victim.

Nonetheless, there is a general consensus among our peers, that if you are a victim of a situational circumstance exposing you to what would be short-term stress; you should just get over it, and move on. To people who subscribe to this category of thought, they believe the damaging effect of stress should be limited to the exposure to the stressor. For instance, if you were hit in a crosswalk by a drunk driver, the specific incident was brief, and would certainly subject you to stress. As a victim of this incident, you are allowed a reasonable time to recover from your injuries and the stress associated with this unfortunate event. Six to nine months is considered reasonable. Any pain or suffering beyond this time period is regarded as potential mental illness.

This is a disrespectful pile of crap. We are all different and we all deal with stress in different ways. This should be respected, and for someone on one end of the spectrum to mock someone else on the other end of the spectrum is not only immature and disrespectful, it defines you as barbaric, and void of human empathy.

Long-term stress (where the victimization or suffering has taken place over a prolonged period of time) is honored with more time to recover, recognizing the acute nature of being subjected to the stress over time affecting both one’s body and mind. This expanded exposure to stress can allow a disproportionate amount of anxiety, loss of self-esteem, depression, paranoia, and potential panic attacks. Though extra time is allotted for recovery, it is not proportionate to the allowance of recovery ratio bestowed upon short-term stress victims.

Stress Exposure Recovery
Short Term Minutes, Hours, Days 6 to 9 months
Long Term Years 1 year

It’s easy for someone on one end of the stress reaction scale to insensitively accuse someone on the other end of the scale of being “weak,” because they would just shrug it off as “no big deal”, or from the other end, “insensitive,” because to think the very incident which was considered as no big deal, would have been devastating to someone one the other end of the scale.

There are certain indications that you are experiencing the effects of stress in your life, which might indicate the need to take countermeasures to find a more healthy balance in your life, they include

  • Dry mouth
  • Clammy or shaking hands
  • Discomfort of pain in the area of your stomach
  • Attaining a calm state of peace is not likely possible
  • Changes in body temperature, from hot and sweat to chills
  • You’re feeling as though your head is being squeezed in a vice
  • You feel your energy levels are declining as motivation dissipates
  • Challenges with focusing on daily routines, or interactive communication
  • Itchy skin (or more severely, feeling like bugs are crawling beneath your skin)
  • There is a foreboding, ominous sense of something being very wrong looming over you
  • A feeling as though you’re experience a difference in heart reaction, i.e., slowing or speeding of heartbeat or beating harder or softer than normal
  • You experience sleepless nights, kept awake by relentless disconnected thinking, even though you are tired
  • If you manage to get a good night’s sleep according to the clock, you wake more tired than you were before going to bed
  • Activities and things that once made you feel good no longer do

These are just a few of the common indicators of stress getting an inordinate grip on you, and should have you thinking about finding ways to de-stress, and or start paying attention enough to consider trying to live a more stress-free lifestyle.

There is no dishonor in reaching out to someone who is equipped to help you on this part of your journey. We all need a helping hand sometime.

You are loved, and a brighter future is waiting for you. Your life has meaning and the world needs you, now more than ever. Do not let stress keep you from achieving your highest and best as well as receiving all this life is waiting to give to you.

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