Are you Overstressed?
Have you been feeling extremely tired lately? Are your muscles sore and are you lacking energy for the activities you love? Do you or your mate seem moody, crying for no reason and unmotivated?
While we commonly complain of stress headaches, sore backs and a lack of sleep these can all be signs of overstress and can interfere with our quality of life and enjoyment. What can you do if you or a family member is overstressed?
WHAT MAKES YOU OVERSTRESSED?
The key to understanding overstress is not merely a list of sources of stress; it is how we are personally coping with these sources.
What would seem to be manageable stress to one person may be overstress to another. Some researchers suggest that our ability to handle life's stresses may have as much to do with our inherited tolerance as with our lifestyle. What is crucial though is identifying the symptoms of overstress and learning to adapt our lifestyle to reduce stress.
While we may all have different tolerances for stress it is also true that certain lifestyles or changes in lifestyle can lead to overstress - marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, job change, job loss or debts are all major stresses.
Other factors such as allergies, shift work, strained relationships and too much work are also stresses that in combination can add up to overstress.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M OVERSTRESSED?
While scientifically overstress leads to a series of chemical imbalances in our system, it is most easily recognized by the symptoms of these imbalances: fatigue due to lack of restful sleep, sore muscles due to a lower pain tolerance and a negative mood due to a lack of energy and 'feel good' chemicals in our system.
If you don't think that you've been feeling the physical effects of overstress perhaps you should look at your lifestyle. Are you handling fatigue with caffeine and sugar? Are alcohol or drugs helping you sleep or providing you a 'feel good' high? Are you relying on the adrenaline of working too much for the positive energy your body and mind needs?
HOW DO I HANDLE OVERSTRESS?
The first step in handling overstress is to recognize your tolerance. Since everyone has a different level only you can start reading your body's signals and responding to them.
Lessening your burdens by simplifying your life may just mean saying no to some extracurricular activities or may mean a complete change in occupation or lifestyle. If you are anticipating a large change in your life such as a new baby or moving to a new home, perhaps you need to remove other obligations to make room for these changes.
Exercising at least 20 minutes three times per week and reducing or eliminating crutches such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar or drugs will also help the body find balance.
We are living in a world that encourages highly driven, 'type-A' personalities. For the good or bad we are not all made equal and to lead the most contented life it is important to set limits for ourselves based on our personal abilities. Having a low tolerance for stress is no more a fault than needing glasses or being shorter than average - it does however require us to accommodate our tolerance and take on only as much as our bodies can adequately handle.
Learning our stress tolerance and responding accordingly can change our entire outlook on life. By regularly taking stock of your stress level and making the necessary changes you will find yourself enjoying life more than you thought possible.
Product of the Month
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is an essential oil extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant, usually by a process of steam distillation. It's a very well known essential oil, and is extensively used in aromatherapy for its many beneficial properties.
Just for starters, lavender oil has been shown to relieve tension, ease tiredness, and reduce feelings of depression. Lavender oil can be utilized in many ways to achieve these ends. Very simply, lavender oil can be applied to a tissue or handkerchief and placed nearby while you work or sleep. Another popular way of using lavender oil is to place it in an oil burner or diffuser, and allow heat to gently dissipate the fragrance into the atmosphere, allowing you to breathe in the powerful aromas and the medicinal chemical compounds present in the lavender oil.
Lavender oil can also be added directly to bath water, preferably
while the water is still running. Unlike many essential oils,
lavender oil can be used directly on the skin, so it's not at all
irritating. When you bathe in water that's had lavender oil
added, you get the benefit of the oil not only from breathing in
the aromas released by the steam, but also by absorbing some of
the oil through your skin.
One important use of lavender oil that few people know about is
its ability to heal burns. Putting oil on a burn seems like
contradictory advice; however, lavender oil provides one of the
best ways of healing and soothing burns, and if applied as soon
as possible after the burn has occurred, can alleviate both pain
and assist in healing.
If you are prone to burning yourself, perhaps on the oven,
fireplace or even spilling boiling water on yourself lavender oil
really does work wonders. All you do is apply a few drops of
lavender oil to the recently burned area, and cover it with a
bandage or sticking plaster (depending upon the size of the
burn). The pain usually disappears within the hour (again
depending upon the severity of the burn), and the burn heals
easily and quickly.
The story behind the discovery of lavender oil as a treatment for
burns is an interesting one. In 1910 the French chemist and
perfumer, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, burned his hand badly while
working in his laboratory. The only liquid close to hand was
lavender oil, so without thinking, he plunged his hand straight
into the oil. Not only was the pain eased almost immediately, but
his hand healed quickly without scarring, much to his own
surprise and delight.
Having given medical advice, it's necessary to state that you
shouldn't try treating an extremely serious burn, especially on a
child with anything except immediate cold water. While lavender
oil is fantastic for minor burns and sunburn, it can't take the
place of correct medical burn treatment when it's necessary.
Lavender oil has so many beneficial properties that it should be
an integral part of anyone's medicine cabinet.
Click here to buy Lavender Fine Essential Oil
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose and treat diseases. If you have any health problems consult a healthcare practitioner before embarking on any course of treatment.