Becoming Aware of Your Stress Responses: The Impact of Chronic Stress

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Becoming Aware of Your Stress Responses: The Impact of Chronic Stress

Experiencing stress is very common, and some stress is important to experience. Stress allows you to be challenged, stimulated, and grow. Although, when stressors in your life are constant or increased, stress can become chronic. Chronic stress can cause adverse mental and physical health side effects that get in the way of everyday life.

Chronic Stress

Stress that becomes chronic can be defined as experiencing a sense of pressure and overwhelm, consistently, over a long period.

Perhaps you have a demanding job that forces you to work long hours, a family member who has been sick for a long time, or you are in the midst of a life transition that is not getting easier with time. Experiencing constant stress in high doses can manifest into chronic stress, impacting both the mind and body.

Symptoms of Chronic Stress on the Body

Chronic stress can feel debilitating. It is more than just feeling a little tired at the end of the day; it is more like mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Some symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Inability to relax
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Isolation
  • Feeling less focused
  • Compassion fatigue

Chronic stress activates the body’s stress response, including the above symptoms, which is the body’s way of communicating something is off and needs attention to restore balance.

Managing Chronic Stress

Easing the experience of chronic stress takes time, as well as intentional and mindful action to make adjustments to your life to lower stress. These decisions need to be made consistently over time to bring stress down. Some ways to manage stress could look like:

  • Increased self-care
  • Taking time off and slowing down
  • Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, or exercise
  • Therapy 
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Boundaries

The options for decreasing stress are limitless, and ultimately you know what you need, even if it does not feel immediately clear with stress blocking the way.

Slowing down and getting curious about what you need to experience ease and peace is a process. What you need today may not be what you need tomorrow. This is why it is important to bring awareness to how you are feeling on a daily basis and take preventive action before a chronic stress response arises.

Healing from chronic stress due to demanding jobs, active lifestyles, trauma, complex family dynamics, and mental illness can be challenging. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how hard it can be to slow down and begin to trust peace over stress, especially when your body is used to chaos. Our team of professionals is here to support you as you continue to take strides in your healing, which includes cultivating safety in new ways of being. If you are ready to begin your journey, call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992 to learn about our recovery programs.

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