Butch's Brew: Don't be a Mess Due to Stress

Most everyone has experienced stress to some degree at one time or another during their lifetime. Anxiety attacks are a byproduct of stress.

The biggest problem is there are those who continually attempt to say they have never experienced stress, but all they are doing is turning a blind eye to the condition. A person who ignores the symptoms of stress and anxiety attacks is their own worst enemy and not only are they lying to themselves, but to others.

It is conservatively estimated that more than 28 percent of Americans suffer from stressed-induced anxiety at any given period of time. That 28 percent, by the way, has been proven to be the highest in the world. The United States (about 318 million people) has the third or fourth largest population in the world, so that equates to approximately 87,920,000 Americans who currently suffer from stress.

Here are some fact-filled numbers on stress: 40 percent of workers report that their job is very or extremely stressful; 61 percent of workers say heavy workloads are a significant impact on stress levels; 45 percent of teens (ages 13-17) said that they were more worried with stress at school; 39 percent of pre-teens and 49 percent of teens report difficulty sleeping due to stress; and more than half of the people suffering from stress are concerned about health problems being exacerbated by it.

There are numerous identifiers or red flags that indicate stress. They include: irrationality or anger; the feeling of nervousness or anxiousness; fatigue; experiencing the feeling of being depressed or sadness; lack of motivation, interest or energy; crying at the drop of the hat for no reason; muscular tension; upset stomach or indigestion; and severe headaches.

According to health and mental care professionals, ignoring stress and stress-related anxieties is like holding a loaded gun to their forehead and pulling the trigger. Stress can also cause the magnification of current medical conditions and/or can cause new problems, which in turn, could possibly lead to death.

People might wonder what causes stress. The answer can be a simple one. Stress can be caused by such simple things as weight gain, jobs and the workplace, family, children, finances, relationships, medical conditions and even by lifestyle. You name it and it can probably cause a bout of stress.

Stress can be controlled for the most part by practicing calming the mind, emotional balance, relaxation, energizing exercises, and even achieving joy.

Stress sufferers do not have to go to use prescription narcotics. A few of the non-drug ways to help alleviate stress are:

• listening to soothing music, which can take one's mind off of existing stress and can also actually lower blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind;

• breathing exercises (a great stress reliever because you can do them anywhere);

• meditation techniques, which when done properly are good or your whole body and bring physical benefits;

• yoga, one of the oldest self-improvement practices, dating back over 5 thousand years (the invention of yoga pants came much later);

• self-hypnosis, perhaps one of the least understood therapeutic tools in use, can be an extremely viable tool in helping overcome fears, withstand pain and lower stress levels;

• participating in a physical workout program which provides a distraction from stressful situations, as well as an outlet for frustrations, and gives you a lift via endorphins as well;

• taking a relaxing walk;

• getting organized can reduce the stress in one's life and can be a calming effect. If someone's surroundings such as home and work are cluttered or skewed, it can cause a lot of undue stress.

• sex can lower diastolic blood pressure (the measurement of the pressure in your blood vessels between heartbeats when your heart is resting);

• sitting down and discussing you problems with friends, family or a health care professional; and

• one of the better medicines to alleviate stress is to get a hug from a friend or family member. You don't realize how much better you feel after a really good hug.

Instead of ignoring the tell-tale signs of stress, people must acknowledge they may have a problem and attempt to correct the underlying condition. Going unchecked, stress can ultimately cause many health-related issues.

If someone feels they are continually stressed out or are experiencing anxiety attacks on a regular basis, they need to deal with the problem and not shove it under the rug.

There is a wealth of information available on the Internet about anxiety attacks associated to stress, and on brochures at various medical facilities and senior centers.

Take time to do research on the causes of stress in general and stress-related anxieties! Research, implement an effective program, and feel more relaxed at home, at work and in life in general.