Top 5 reasons why you are stressed

Stress is commonplace in towards world, and has been dubbed the slightly controversial term ‘the silent killer’. While this may be true of chronic untreated stress, the more acute versions are actually necessary for our survival. For instance, if you were to see be chased by a bear or a lion (let’s hope not as there is realistically and sadly only one winner in this race), it would be beneficial for you to have a stress response that will kick in to help you survive, instead of thinking ‘Oh aren’t you a very cute fuzzy animal with very sharp teeth and claws and loves eating meat’.

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Stress is actually important for our daily lives, it is simply the way in which we manage it that is either our greatest medicine or our most detrimental poison. So, let’s now touch upon the top five reasons for stress to occur in our lives; we will touch upon the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual reasons here.


Top reasons stress occurs in our lives

1. Emotional stress (regulation of emotions)

 When I talk about emotional stress, I am talking about the things that cause a stir up of the emotions that lay within us. The emotions that are, at the best of times, bottled up, repressed within us, that lack the ability to be voiced, heard, seen and felt. These very emotions cause us undue and unseen stress due to this repression.

When we repress these emotions, they cause a swelling inside of us, just as though it was water being held back by a dam, slowly, but surely filling up to the top, with the odd moments of releasing pressure, but never truly emptying. These emotions cause us to rock back and forth between between supposedly ok, to being stressed for what may seem to be no reason at all; but of course there is a reason, and that is the repression of them in the first place, and their needing and wantingness to be heard and validated.

These emotional stresses have been built up since we were children, babies even, as we were not taught how to effectively manage our emotions, with most of us taught to keep calm and carry on, don’t show your emotions it is a sign of weakness, don’t overreact/be dramatic etc; and they have only grown deeper as we develop into adulthood. See it as going into your overdraft year on year, without every truly balancing it. This is what we call emotional stress.

2. Physical stress (the physical toll upon our bodies)

Physical stress can be seen in the physiological response, our body’s actual response to stress within the cells and the body as a whole. We can see this as how hormones are being released, how cellular function is being affected in different parts of the body, the way inflammation is being built up, the changes the body (do you get hot, cold, sweaty, dry, red, pale etc).

This physical response will be different for everyone due to the expression of your genetics, but also how you handle emotional stress. For some people, there can be an increase in inflammation which can be seen as being sore to the touch in certain areas (potentially due to skin eruptions, think eczema, acne or sore muscles – noticing where the stress and tension goes to the body), for others it can be seen as becoming cold, sweaty, losing hair, decreasing cognitive function. For some it is a combination of all of these.  

3. Mental stress (the pressure we place upon ourselves mentally)

When we talk about mental stress, we are talking about the pressures that we place on ourselves through our inner monologue; ‘We should be doing that’, ‘We could have done that so much better’, ‘We’re stupid’, ‘We can’t do this, it’s too much, we’re not good enough to do this’, ‘Why are they getting praise and I am not, what do I have to do to get it’.  All of these little stories we paint for ourselves is in fact part of the mental stress game that we play on a daily basis.

If we see it as a game, it becomes easier to overcome and places less pressure on us, which is something that I believe we can all make use of, even seemingly unstressed and enlightened people. When we become aware of the mental chatter, the thoughts that are either ruining or creating our best life, we become aware of how much our lives are dictated by these thoughts, for better or for worse.

To be able to become aware and catch these thoughts whilst they are happening is of great medicine and one of the main reasons for meditation – so that we may become aware of our thoughts and let them go in the moment by using one’s breath.

4. Spiritual stress (the stress of spiritual insights, breakthroughs and breakdowns, trauma healing)

When talking about spiritual stress, we are talking about the gifts and burdens of seeing oneself for who they are, why they are in the situation they are in, their role within this, and then all the associated trauma and responsibility within all of this. This creates a lot of stress in one’s life, and once you see something, you can no longer unsee it; a blessing and a curse at the very same time.

These forms of stress take an inordinate amount of time and energy from people and although we may be able to process the emotions mentally and emotionally (essentially the software component), an exhausting task, we must wait for the body to catch up as it is the hardware that is processing this end result. This is why spiritual stress is tiring and takes time.

Despite the fact that we have herbs, food and supplements to aid and support us through these moments, the body itself will take the time it needs for us to move through things and there is no rushing it. Trust me, I’ve tried and failed numerous times now!

5. Life stress (the combination of all of the above)

The final stress is probably fairly obvious and that is general life stress. The stress of being alive. The stress of all the above stressors work simultaneously together in order to make themselves heard and seen.

Life is generally a stressful event, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean that in a matter of fact way. It is all about how you handle the arising stressors. Do you allow them to dominate your life? Your reactions to situations? Your ability to live life fully? Your ability to express yourself and connect with others? No one is perfect and handles stress the right way ALL of the time, but if you are able to manage it well more often than not, and not rely on things like alcohol, drugs, sex, eating, purchasing things in order to get around it, then you are doing a stellar job!

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Bristol, Somerset, BS3 1DW
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Written by Alex Fraysse
Bristol, Somerset, BS3 1DW

Alex is Herbalist, Nutritionist, Naturopath and Iridologist working from a Mind, Body and Spirit perspective. He combines ancient wisdom with modern functional medicine in his approach to life, health and his clients.

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