By the Way. Take Control over Your Stress Levels

Daily Mail (London), November 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

By the Way. Take Control over Your Stress Levels


YESTERDAY, I lost my temper and cursed out loud. The reason? It was 6am in the morning and I couldn't find any tights to wear. I'm usually far more patient -- but the frantic pace of my life, with the practicalities of balancing a baby and a big workload, beat me this week.

I recognise my stress when things are getting on top of me -- but many people don't. As many as 20 per cent of the work-force are stressed, and about one in ten cases of work-place absence are as a direct result of the condition.

And the recession isn't helping. Those who are working are doing it flat-out, in fear of the P45. Meanwhile, those who are unemployed are under a huge amount of pressure to find a job.

Stress is everywhere. Thanks to evolution, when people feel anxious their fight or flight response kicks in -- their body physically primes itself to either take on the threat or take off. Physiologically that means their heart pumps faster, they sweat and breathe more quickly. Their adrenal glands go into overdrive, firing off adrenaline and cortisol hormones.

Blood shifts from the peripheries of their bodies to their core, and their senses (such as vision and hearing) are heightened. Stressed people will tend to ignore the world around them, focusing on these perceived threats.

The more often people are placed in a stressful situation the more honed their stress response becomes. …

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