With all the events of recent, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. It’s worst if your job was already very demanding or if you’re in a demanding field, such as medical personnel.
That pressured feeling is what we all know as stress.
Feeling stressed at work is so common that we’ve grown to accept it. We even use it as an acceptable answer to “How are you?” – “Boy. Stress!”.
Some may be exaggerating, but for many, it’s but a prevalent feeling. And it’s slowly killing you.
Stress is an automatic response, and we can always feel the physiological responses on the onset. I can tell I’m feeling stressed long before it registers in my brain by noticing the tensing of my shoulders, and the pain in my back. During the day, I will often have to loosen the tension in my neck and shoulders.
Now stress in short bursts is not unhealthy, and in fact, this is how our bodies evolved, with hits of adrenaline and cortisol in short bursts whenever a lion or other animal pounced at you, so you can quickly react and run away or fight.
But what we have now is a long-lasting, constant feeling of stress. Something for which your body, and mind, never evolved. As such, we end up with all sorts of physical ailments such as hypertension, and mental ones as well, such as anxiety.
I’ve tried as best as possible to manage my stress by doing things like exercise and practising mindfulness. These have helped, but as long as the stressors exist, the calming effects of any intervention are short-lived.
I need to get out of those stressful situations. That is how my body was built.