Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019
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The demanding effects of stress

Our bodies respond to stimuli, whether they are bad or good experiences. Everyone experiences stress at some time in life. Positive stress is effective in helping us to perform at high levels of expectations. Some children do well in examinations, because the anxiety and emotional over tones challenge them to pay attention to details. Public speakers are aware of the critics who seem to challenge every word and interpretation of information shared. Television personalities are under the watchful eyes of those who think that they are the experts in dress, voice tones, gestures and articulations.

Amidst this awareness, they still perform at their superlative levels. They seem to understand that the mirror of the community cannot shape them, for they have their individual personalities, judgments and choices. Negative stress has some damaging effects on the body, therefore, attention must be given to the stressors in our lives. The following are some of the effects that stress can have on our bodies–muscle tension, blood clots, skin irritation, insomnia, high levels of anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, body pain, indigestion, stomach ulcers, depression, asthma attacks, loss of energy, failure to work productively, problems in relationships because of bad attitudes, low tolerance and uncontrolled anger.

After a death or loss, most persons experience emotions of guilt, rage, fear, helplessness, loneliness, panic, dismay, anguish, despair, resentment, disappointment, yearning, anxiety, apathy, regret, feelings of abandonment, sorrow, vindictiveness, pain, inadequacy, denial and distrust. These are the tasks that a person in grief must work out in order to aid in the recovery process. It will be challenging, but you must use your own skills and temperament to recover in order to move on with your life. You must accept the reality of your loss through death or other disappointments. Talk about it until you reach a level of acceptance. As you experience the stress that comes from pain and grief, seek professional help that will help you to develop coping skills that will hinder you from damaging your health.

You will not be able to push all the pain and grief away if you internalize them and pretend that you are doing well. To pretend that you are strong enough to deal with the hurt, will often cause your emotions to fester which in turn will affect your entire life. Learn to adjust to the environment in which your loved one is missing. Remember the pleasant things that you enjoyed doing together. Go to the places where you spent time together.

As you encounter each aspect of your life without the person, you have to learn new skills for living without the deceased You cannot withdraw from the world and all your former relationships. If you have lost property, status or transfers, you have to take responsibility for your life and find alternatives, knowing that you have to function and survive.

Here are some symptoms that you are in grief irrespective of the cause:

?Crying continuously.

?Contemplate suicide.

?Suffer from extreme loneliness.

?Neglect personal hygiene.

?Engage in self-criticism.

?Think that there is no recovery from the loss.

?Sigh a lot.

?Can’t sleep at nights.

?Feel constantly tired.

?Susceptible to illness, flues and colds.

?Tempted to take too many drugs.

?Stays extremely busy in order to have little time to think.

?Eating disorder.

?Can’t think clearly.

An optimistic approach to life can help you to overcome the unattractive experiences. Learn to cope with the unexpected and smile through the seemingly unbearable.

Dr. Pansy Hamilton Brown, an educational and social psychologist, can be reached at P.O. Box N-10152, Nassau, Bahamas or e-mail:

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