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Chronic Stress Disorder: Top Tips to Effectively Deal With It

Chronic stress disorder is a severe psychological condition where people undergo emotional stress for an extended period of time and they feel they have no control over it. Their endocrine system releases stress hormones called cortisol which floods their body and mind.

While the short-term exposures to stress hormones are known to be beneficial sometimes, the long-term exposure can lead to chronic stress disorder. Chronic stress can harm your physical as well as mental health. For example, it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, muscle tissue damage, growth inhibition, and weaken your immune system.

If you suffer from chronic stress disorder, you’ll be constantly accompanied by the stress response. It affects your body eventually and causes poor health, even grave medical conditions. If you’re unable to manage your stress, these conditions can last a lifetime. So, the best way to start addressing chronic stress disorder is to learn everything about it.

Chronic Vs Acute Stress:

It’s really important to learn the difference between acute and chronic stress disorder. Acute stress occurs as well as resolves swiftly. But, chronic stress persists for a long period, sometimes for several years. Both chronic and acute stress can make you feel emotionally besieged and uncomfortable. However, such feelings become more persistent with chronic stress. The bodily response to chronic stress becomes more serious too.

What Leads to Chronic Stress Disorder?

The situations or problems that are left unresolved for longer duration can constantly trigger chronic stress in you. Such problems can be simple everyday pressures like social, home, and work-related pressures which we all go through every now and then. However, some people are simply unable to get away from such issues.

Other stressful situations which some people endure over an extended period of time include dysfunctional home life, prolonged medical conditions or even mental and physical abuse.

Sometimes your past depression may lead to chronic stress disorder since it’s possible that you never dealt with those issues earlier. Unless you learn to comprehend and convey your feelings regarding the traumatic event in the past, you’ll constantly feel the emotional stress every day.

When you suffer from chronic stress disorder, your body’s biology shapes-up in two distinct ways:

  • Firstly, your body responds physically to the emotional strain that makes you feel the stress-effects.
  • Secondly, as the stress persists, your body feels the biological effects.

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it

The Symptoms of Chronic Stress Disorder:

To identify chronic stress disorder, you need to recognize its symptoms first-and-foremost. Perhaps you’re already aware of the health issues but you didn’t know that these are caused or aggravated by chronic stress. You may consider psychological symptoms as bad luck, or you may feel difficult to express your emotional feelings.

Prepare a list of each symptom related to chronic stress disorder which you feel in your own mind and body. After that, share it with your therapist or counselor to help them assess your condition.

Following is the list of some of the most common symptoms of chronic stress disorder:

Physical effects:

  • Stress headaches
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Ulcers
  • Weak immune system
  • Fertility problems
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Low libido
  • Insomnia
  • Diminished muscle tone

Psychological Effects:

People suffering from chronic stress disorder usually consider the psychological effects as situational factors. Only after counseling, they realize that these symptoms were due to chronic stress:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Overeating comfort foods
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Social withdrawal
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Effects of Chronic Stress Disorder on Relationships:

An abusive or dysfunctional relationship may trigger chronic stress disorder, which can further lead to various relationship problems which were healthy earlier. Chronic stress can affect relationships when:

  • You totally depend on the other person who guards you against stress.
  • You don’t prioritize your relationship since you’ve no control over stressful situations.
  • Due to your irritability, your loved ones feel cast off.
  • Because you develop an addiction, your loved one suffers financial troubles and emotional pain.
  • You turn socially withdrawn and your friends get angry or hurt and abandon the relationship.

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down

How to Relieve Chronic Stress Disorder:

If you explore the topic of chronic stress disorder, you’ll be surprised at the recognition or prospect of its many serious effects in your life. Therefore, it’s really important to take your time to find out ways to relieve chronic stress. Remember that many people have defeated chronic stress and even recovered from or avoided the physical and mental issues it causes.

Top Ways to Relieve Chronic Stress Disorder:

When you learn some proven techniques to deal with chronic stress, you’ll achieve instant relief during stressful periods and when you need to feel calm the most. Following are some of the stress buster techniques:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Physical workouts
  • Have a cup of chamomile (herbal) tea
  • Listen to guided imagery soundtracks
  • Be close to nature
  • Remain in the present moment and feel all the information you’re receiving through your five senses
  • Slow down a bit
  • Express your feelings to a therapist or close friends and family members
  • Get a thorough massage
  • Perform systematic muscle relaxation by relaxing and tensing a single muscle group at a time
  • Listen to music especially classical music which can be really effective at decreasing stress levels
  • Watch a comedy film or TV show

Adopt New Habits and Change Lifestyle:

To overcome chronic stress disorder, you need to make drastic changes in your lifestyle choices and adopt new habits. These can have a profound effect on your outlook toward life. When you develop new habits and make healthier life choices, you’ll feel more calm and positive. It’ll enable you to deal with the stress-inducing situations more effectively.

If you want to overcome your chronic stress disorder, you need to change or follow the following habits:

  • Explore the causes
  • Follow a physical workout routine regularly
  • Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Get enough sleep
  • Journal every day
  • Practice breathing exercises and meditation every day
  • Eat healthy, nutritious and balanced diet regularly
  • Look after your medical requirements

Seek Professional Help for Chronic Stress Disorder:

Consulting a counselor or a therapist is recommended to reach deeper into your chronic stress and relieve it permanently. A therapist can help you explore present circumstances as well as past events to seek out the source of the stress. After that, they can help you express your feelings and thoughts regarding it. They’ll even teach you techniques to cope with the stress. Lastly, they’ll help you discover your options and offer you with advice to help you change your lifestyle to deal with the situation effectively.

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