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How Stress Effects Us 
Managing stress may seem like an impossible task, it may also seem futile. How are you supposed to manage external factors that influence your mood and emotions? This guide will inform you on the importance of managing high levels of stress, the effects stress has on your wellbeing, but most importantly how to overcome and control life's inevitable stressors. 
 
Stress wreaks havoc on your physical health and your emotional equilibrium. It can prevent you from functioning optimally or even correctly. The inability to think clearly or effectively and to just generally enjoy life. Responsibilities and demands are made and expected you of everyday whether that be home or work life, but you have a lot more control than you may think. 
 
A tiny control tower in your brain called the hypothalamus is what released the order to send stress hormones that trigger the body's fight or flight response. This leads to quickening of your breath, racing heart and muscles ready for action, designed to protect your body in emergency. However, allowing this response to occur multiple times a day, day after day it can put your health at serious risk. 
 
Allowing stress levels to stay elevated for far longer than is necessary (chronic stress) can cause a variety of symptoms and affect overall wellbeing. Symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches and insomnia. Chronic stress is also a factor in behaviours such as overeating, not eating an enough, alcohol and drug abuse, and social withdrawal, as well as affecting other important areas of the body such as the digestive, immune, reproductive, and muscular system. 
 
Dealing With Stress 
The most effective way for you to start dealing with stress is to identify the sources of stress in your life. Not quite as straight-forward as it sounds and you may already know what you perceive to be the source, it's very easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feeling, and behaviours contribute to your everyday stress levels. 
 
For example, you maybe consistently worried about meeting work deadlines, the pressure of this causes the stress, however if you were to zoom out and look at the issue at hand, could you find that maybe it's your procrastination or disorganisation, rather than the actual job demands is what's causing the added stress. Without accepting responsibility for the role, you may play in creating or maintaining stress will always remain outside of your control. 
 
A good way to navigate round this would be to start a stress journal, feeling stressed? Write it down and keep a track of it, then you will be able to see common themes or any patterns as well as how best to manage your response and most importantly what caused it. 
 
It goes without saying that when you are feeling stressed the last thing on your mind would be the want to exercise. But any form of physical activity is an incredible stress reliever. The endorphins released from exercise will make you feel so much better and can also serve as a valuable distraction from daily worries. It's so important for us to take time and maintain balance with a healthy lifestyle not just when it comes to exercise but with our relationship with food, sleep and relaxation. 
 
Breathing and relaxation is another positive attitude you can utilise to reduce the stress in your life. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. The improvement of your mood/emotions from giving yourself some quality 'me' time will put you in a better stead to handle life's stressors. 
 
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