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stressed-manLong-term (chronic) stress is the type of stress that causes the most serious health problems. It is caused by a host of irritating hassles over a period of time, or an ongoing difficult situation. Conditions that may lead to chronic stress include:

 Health problems
if you have a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.

Emotional problems
such as unexpressed or uncontrolled anger, depression, grief, guilt, or low self-esteem.

Relationship problems
if you do not have someone to share your feelings with, are having difficulty in a relationship, or feel that you have few friends.

Your job
if you are unhappy with your work, or your work is dangerous or too demanding.

Your social situation
such as poverty, loneliness, or discrimination based on race, gender, age, or sexual orientation.

Life cycle transitions and developmental stages
such as becoming a teenager, leaving home, or getting married.

Conflicts with your belief system
your perceptions and beliefs about the world, life, and yourself. For instance, if you place a high value on family life but don’t have the family life you want, you may feel stress.

A child or teen
or other family member who is under stress because of physical or emotional problems.

A poor diet and lack of exercise can raise blood pressure and constant consumption of processed food and alcohol can irritate the internal organs and cause a stress response in the body.

If you feel highly stressed or you feel that you need guidance to help cope with stress, speak to your GP as soon as possible.

What happens to the body when we are under stress?

Basically, your body produces too much cortizol and adrenaline (stress hormones) when we become stressed. As a result, your body becomes sympathetic (stressed) and finds it hard to repair during sleep and a constant stress response in the body can result in all sorts of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems, inflammatory issues, etc.

What can we do to help relieve stress?

Try to take time to unwind.
Take a walk in the country to mix with mother nature, take a hot bath, book yourself a massage, etc.

Try to breath deeply. Any more than 14 breaths per minute shows that you may be under stress.

Eat well
Eat unrefined grains, good sources of organic meats and vegetables to help obtain all the minerals your body needs to do its job.

Some prefer to box, some prefer yoga. The fact is exercise helps with the feel good factor. It helps to release serotonin (a feel good hormone) and helps clear your mind.

To talk to someone about reducing your stress levels, call IVERIDGE and book a consultation with Helen Tyler, our occupational therapist. Call 01132 887 666. Appointments are priced at £60 per hour although all members get a FREE 15-minute consultation with Helen.

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