Image of man getting overloaded by sticky notes

Depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, problems with concentration, loss of memory, compulsive behavior, and low sex drive may be signs you or a loved one is experiencing a significant amount of stress.

While not fatal like other major illnesses, stress will gradually eat you and adversely affect your quality of life. A stressed-out person may have trouble concentrating and as a result, everything from work to social life is affected.

77% of Americans suffer from stress that has a direct effect on their physical health. Furthermore, 33% suffer from severe stress. It’s a normal body reaction to certain situations, but it can get worse in certain circumstances.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. Not when you have help. Advanced Hypnotherapy of Naples offers stress management therapy for Naples residents and clients all over Florida. Call us and get yourself the help you deserve.

Let us examine how stress can be helpful to us, but also extremely damaging to our health

Stress-tension, dis-aligning the spine

Tension within the body has lots to do with a given time or event. Stress is a normal physical response to the perception of being overwhelmed. While there are those that seem to thrive and even become more masterful in stressful circumstances, others seemingly crumble under the pressure of stress. This may manifest itself as tension within the body or being physical and mentally fatigued, such as an inability to think or lack of a desire to finish a task.

Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, it can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. However, high stress can cause tension in muscles throughout the neck, shoulders, and back that may cause dis-alignment of the spine. Nevertheless, when stress lasts for a long time, it may cause harm to the health of that person as the body is stuck in the “fight-or-flight” mindset.

Image of woman covering her face in stress while laying in bed

Stress, protecting the body

The stress response is the body’s way of protecting itself. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, makes you more energetic, and increases your reflexes and alertness. In emergency situations, it can save your life. For example, giving you extra strength to defend yourself or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.

The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, concentration sharpened when attempting the game-winning free throw, or driven to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV.

But beyond a certain point, it stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and quality of life.

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How do you respond to stress?

It’s important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.

The signs and symptoms of an overload can be almost anything. It affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways, and everyone experiences it differently.

Stress doesn’t always look stressful

Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed:

  • Foot on the brake – A withdrawn or depressed response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
  • Foot on the gas – An angry or agitated response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
  • Foot on both – A tense and frozen response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface, you’re extremely agitated.

Signs and symptoms of stress overload

The following lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to an overload.

Cognitive Symptoms/Emotional Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness

Physical Symptoms/Behavioral Symptoms

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs, it’s important to see a doctor for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.

Overcome your Stress with Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy has been proven, time and time again, to be enormously effective at reducing, and managing stress. Stress continues to be linked to more and more health problems, as well as having the general effect of reducing our enjoyment of life. Not only can Hypnotherapy be used to reduce stress reactions in specific situations, but through hypnotherapy techniques, we can make a permanent change to the way we deal with life, its challenges, and how we feel each and every day.

Make an appointment today and empower yourself

Image of a happy, stress-free woman