With our high-tech world and global economy, we are experiencing higher levels of stress than ever before. In our working world and home life, responsibilities have increased to an almost unmanageable pace. Information overload, multiple roles and responsibilities and technological advances make it more difficult to find solitude and relaxation to rejuvenate our energy. We can do more due to technological advances, but it is those same pagers, cell phones and laptops that make it so easy to blur the line between work and home. Our current lifestyles allow little down time if we are not deliberate in setting and enforcing our personal boundaries.
Stress is a positive motivator that we are able to manage most of the time, but we often find ourselves over-committed between work, family and social activities. Add an unexpected event or crisis, and we can quickly spiral out of control and experience the negative impact of too much stress.
Some of those negative effects could be:
- Tension headaches
- Muscle tension
- Internal pressure
- Memory problems
- Physical aches and pains
Prolonged stress can make us more prone to developing depression and anxiety, as well as other serious health problems. When we are in a state of high stress our bodies prepare for “fight or flight” and a chemical called cortisol is released in our brains. When we continuously function in this mode of alertness and high tension, the cortisol begins to have a negative impact on our brain chemistry and other neurotransmitters that we need to remain balanced and functioning at peak performance levels. As these neurotransmitters are destroyed, we begin to experience the symptoms of too much stress.
Our bodies are designed to absorb the cortisol and return to normal levels through “flight” or activity to “escape” the stressor. We can effectively replace the “flight” with exercise and relaxation which helps to rid our bodies of cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones we no longer need to allow us to have the energy for “flight.”
If we do not provide our bodies with healthy outlets for stress reduction, the chemicals in our brain become unbalanced and lead to more serious symptoms, such as hypertension, depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes and many other health conditions. Setting personal and professional boundaries that limit what we expect ourselves to be able to accomplish are imperative for long-term health. Having healthy self-care habits, such as exercise, eating right, relaxing and enjoying varied interests also keep us in balance and minimizes the negative impacts of stress.
The Men’s Center can assist you in assessing your level of stress, determining what limits need to be set and creating a plan for self-care that will allow you to get your life back into balance and keep functioning at the top of your game.
The Men’s Center welcomes people of all backgrounds. If you have questions or comments about our services, or if you want to learn more about how The Men’s Center can help you or someone close to you, please contact us.
The Men’s Center. A Place for Healing, Mindfulness & Possibilities.