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Emotional Effects of Stress

January 21st, 2014 by Hale Dwoskin

In 1983, Time magazine called stress “The Epidemic of the Eighties.” This epidemic, which was noted as the nation’s leading health problem two decades ago, has only gotten worse, according to the American Institute of Stress (AIS).

In 1983, a stress survey in Prevention magazine found that 55 percent of respondents felt they were “under great stress on a weekly basis.” In 1996, however, an updated survey found that close to 75 percent felt great stress one day a week, and one in three felt great stress more than two times a week. Today, as you will discover in this article, the emotional effects of stress are even more prevalent.

Where is all of this stress coming from?

The biggest culprit far and wide is related to your job. Will you be laid off? Can you make the deadline? Do your coworkers like you? All of these concerns add up to big worry. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:

  • 40% of workers said their job was very or extremely stressful
  • 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives
  • 75% of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago
  • Problems at work are more strongly associated with health problems than any other life stressor, including financial or family problems

Outside of job stress, AIS lists several other major life stressors that are impacting not only adults but also children, teens and the elderly:

  • Increased crime, violence and threats to personal safety
  • Peer pressures that lead to substance abuse and other unhealthy lifestyle habits
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • The erosion of family and religious values
  • The loss of strong sources of social support

What are the Impacts of All of This Stress?

If stress is left to spiral out of control, it can impact most every facet of your life.

So as you’re fretting about tomorrow’s morning meeting at work, you may also find that your related irritability causes an argument with your spouse. It then leads you to yell at your kids, making you feel guilty, and all the while you’ve completely forgotten about the roast in the oven, that’s now setting off the smoke detectors. Did we mention that you’re also feeling exhausted, flushed, and your head aches because you’ve been grinding your teeth for hours?

Such are the pernicious influences of stress. In fact, a full 75 percent to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are thought to be for stress-related problems, according to AIS.

Not surprisingly, an American Psychological Association (APA) study also found that 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.

The Top Dangers of Stress

Although a little bit of stress is natural, chronic stress that never seems to go away can be devastating, and here are the top reasons why.

1. Stress interferes with your immune system. Chronic stress makes you more vulnerable to catching colds and other infections, while actually impairing your immune system’s ability to respond to its own anti-inflammatory signals, according to the APA. This may increase your risk of a host of inflammatory diseases, including allergies, autoimmune diseases and heart disease.

2. Stress can worsen, or trigger, diabetes. When you feel stressed, your body releases stress hormones that release extra sugar into your bloodstream (so you have the energy to deal with the stress). However, in people with diabetes, who are already struggling with high blood sugar, this only makes controlling your blood sugar more difficult. And while stress doesn’t cause diabetes per say, it can trigger it in someone who’s already predisposed to the illness.

3. Stress accelerates aging. People with chronic stress are more vulnerable to age-related diseases including mental decline, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and major depression, according to a 2006 study presented at the 114th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). Meanwhile, those who were able to effectively cope with stress, slept well and stayed physically active were able to prevent many negative age-related changes.

4. Stress impacts your relationships. Chronic stress can result in mood swings, depression, irritability, disorganization, decreased sexual desire, obsessive behaviors and even gambling, impulse buying and other destructive behaviors. All of these things can cause problems with your personal relationships.

The Simple Way to Relieve Stress

Many Americans resort to unhealthy behaviors as a way to cope with the emotional effects of stress. The top self-sabotaging behaviors, according to an APA survey, include:

  • Comfort eating
  • Poor diet choices
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity

All of these things, however, will provide only temporary relief, and can make you feel even worse in the long run.

Most tools for alleviating the emotional effects of stress only help you to temporarily move away from the stress or the stressor, or they are only ways to cope with — not let go of — the stressful feelings.

The Sedona Method is a unique stress-relief tool in that it will teach you how to release stressful feelings so they disappear entirely.

The Sedona Method actually helps you to let go of the actual stressful reactions within your system. It also shows you how to let go of the inner motivators that cause stress in the first place. As you use The Sedona Method, the same situations that are now causing you a lot of stress will become less stressful … If you use the Method enough, you can even get to the place where they no longer produce stress at all.

No other tool or technique does this, not yoga nor listening to music. Plus, you can use The Sedona Method right in the middle of the situations that are causing you stress and immediately feel better and more in control.

Best of all, The Sedona Method is incredibly easy to learn and intuitive to use, so adding it to your life is simple.