How Stress Affects Your Life

stressful lifeStress is the root cause of or a contributor to a number of problems in people. Every year, more and more physical and mental health problems are linked to stress, and it is often referred to as a silent killer. Everyone experiences stress on some level, and many people profess that you can make stress work for you with practice, but there are individuals whose lives are consumed by stress. People who cannot manage stress become its victim and the consequences are not pretty. It is very important to learn to manage stress to ward off its devastating effects.

The physical affects of stress are known by most adults. When the workload gets heavy or the expectations start to stack up, the pressure builds and soon you find yourself wringing your hands and clenching your teeth. At first, the stress seems to be emotional and internal. But when it begins to last too long, you notice a headache coming on, or a stomach ache or perhaps cold symptoms. Stress can cause or contribute to a number of physical ailments, such as ulcers, acne, cancer, autoimmune disorders, infections and much more. Stress has been found to weaken the immune system and disturb sleep patterns.

Extended or chronic stress is also extremely hard on a person’s mental health. The toll that stress takes on a person’s thought and behavioral patterns is immense. Stress gives a person feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, failure, exhaustion, tension and confusion. It makes them less productive and less accurate. Living under these conditions begins to mess with a person’s head. They begin to realistically ask themselves questions such as “Will this stress ever end?” and “Am I capable at all?” and “What is wrong with me?” Stress can come from within a person or from without, but all forms of stress are detrimental when they are extended and immersive.


How Anger Affects Your Life

angry lifeAnger is a destructive emotion to those who possess it. Anger is a necessary emotion to some degree, and we all have to feel it and process it in order to come out on top of it. But where it becomes mentally unhealthy is when a person develops a pattern of frequent anger in situations that do not warrant it. An anger management problem can become the bain of a person’s existence and can slowly unravel their lives, damaging their relationships, their vocations and their reputation. Some of the ways anger problems damage your life are as follows:

  • Anger makes you antisocial. Anger problems are not a becoming trait on anyone, and they push people away. A person’s anger problems are stressful to have to deal with and most people choose not to, preferring to avoid the angry person. Anger and antisocial behavior often go together because the angry person sets a lifelong pattern of driving people away. They may initially attract friends, but ultimately they scare them away with their emotional violence.
  • Anger makes you dysfunctional. Because anger problems are not mentally healthy, they make a person dysfunctional and unable to cooperate with society. Angry people often keep others at an arm’s length because dysfunctional relationships are their pattern. They often cannot go very far in life because of their dysfunctional personality. They are passed over for promotions and leadership roles because of their tendency to lash out. They cannot manage a heavy task load because stress aggravates their anger issues.
  • Anger harms your mental and physical health. Above all else, anger is simply not good for you, mentally or physically. Anger is a very stressful emotion to your brain and body, releasing the stress chemical cortisol, making your heart rate speed up and your stomach twist into knots. Living in this state frequently wears the body down and overworks the mental faculties.


How to Manage Stress

managing stressStress is something everyone lives with to a degree. Some people have high levels of stress while others have low levels. The amount of stress that you personally entertain has a lot to do with your mental health and your personality. However, if your stress levels reach beyond what is mentally healthy, you have a responsibility to help yourself manage them. People can be prone to high stress for a number of reasons, internal and external, but it is necessary for people to recognize this trend in their lives and correct it before it does damage to themselves and to the people they are close to. A stressful personality is draining to everyone it effects and warrants immediate attention.
There are two primary ways of treating stress and anger problems. One of them is the cognitive behavioral side of stress management. This may involve personal reflection and implementing new mental health practices that you invent or that you read about, or it may involve help from a second party in the form of counseling or other types of relational support. This refers to thinking critically about your negative thought patterns, reevaluating them to set yourself up for healthier thought patterns and then working on yourself in order to execute them.
Once you have created a mental health plan for yourself, a part of executing it is determining the causes of stress in your life and eliminating them. Some elements of your life that create stress are actually toxic. such as an abusive significant other or a hostile work environment. It is mentally healthy to eliminate these elements completely. Other elements in your life that stress you out may be areas that you need to work on yourself in order to change. It could be that a time management problem you have is making your job stressful, or a problem with personal irresponsibility is making your relationship stressful. Sometimes it is merely a performance anxiety complex you have that induces your stress. These areas are things you are personally responsible for eliminating to achieve better mental health.
And lastly, filling your life with things that make you happy and feel purposeful are essential to stress management. Some of these things will be purely for fun, such as time to watch movies, some will be for health, such as a regular yoga practice, and some will invigorate you by being more challenging, such as training for a sports competition. All of these efforts create balance and mental health, which control stress.

How to Manage Anger

managing angerThe quest to manage anger is a complicated one. Many people’s anger problems are deeply rooted and require more than a little effort to get to the bottom of. There are a number of measures one can take in order to bring their anger under control, but it is coming to understand your anger problems that presents a challenge. It is not easy for anyone to be objective about themselves and their personal flaws, anger issues being no exception. This is why it is very important to think critically about the severity of your anger problems and determine carefully what to do about them.

Severe anger ploblems require serious mental health counseling. Do not be capricious about the damage that a serious anger problem can inflict on your life. Intense anger issues can do damage to your medical and mental health, your personal relationships and your professional reputation. If you are prone to frequent, explosive bursts of anger, you have a severe anger problem and you should pursue counseling before trying anything else.

If your anger problems are occasional, moderate or mild, there is a little more flexibility in how you go about managing them. If you feel confused about how to get your anger problems under control, counseling can be a valuable option for you. Sometimes simply having a credible opinion and sounding board to bring your thoughts to can do a lot to resolve mental issues. If you do well caring for and teaching yourself, however, you may also do well controlling your anger through reading and applying self-help literature, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga, or routinely engaging in a recreational activity. Many people find that outdoor activity helps them melt their anger.

However you choose to work on your anger problems, it is important that you take seriously the implementation of you anger management process before your relationships, health and professional standing decline.


Causes of Stress Problems

stress causesStress is a very common condition to live with in our society. Every adult person has known the feeling of stress, and most have felt it for an extended period of time. Mental health specialists estimate that adults experience stress at a greater rate today than any other time in history due to mental disorders, heavy expectations (both real and perceived), an overwhelming amount of information to process and exposure to negative realities. Many things come together to create the condition of stress, and more awareness needs to be brought to the matter.
Sometimes stress can simply be attributed to a mental disorder. Stress is an aspect of essentially every mental disorder recorded. Mental disorders damage a person’s ability to cope and process reality in a sound way, making their lives more volatile and out of control. Stress is a natural response to this condition, even if the individual is not aware that they have a mental disorder.
The expectations placed on the average working adult are heavier than they have been at any other time in history. In order to stay competitive globally, employers increasingly expect more from employees over time rather than less. Since the recession of 2007, for example, the job market of North America has been deemed an “employers market,” meaning that the higher than average jobless rate gives more power to employers than employees, forcing heavy performance expectations onto employees.
This is a trend in both the United States and in Canada, causing employee stress levels to sky rocket. In the United States, the working class felt the blow, and suddenly trades workers, teachers and administrative professionals alike felt the pressures of working more than one person’s job. In Canada, agricultural trades, lumber mill employees and oil workers of Fort McMurray employment were forced to adjust to double shifts and back-to-back work stints.
Because of the internet and the global spread of marketing and media, there is a vastly greater amount of information to process every day than there used to be. We receive messages from ads, commercials, news sources, websites, television programs and other media that bombard our senses and over fill our minds to the point of stress. Though this is something we are forced to live with, mental health professionals feel unanimously that this is not good for mental health. In the same vein, we are routinely exposed to tragedy, disaster, violence and other catastrophic world events through these same mediums that make us experience compassion fatigue, which induces stress.

Causes of Anger Problems

anger causesA temper does not look good on anyone. Being quick to anger is never a positive attribute of someone’s personality. In fact, it is an attribute that frequently drives people away because of how destructive it is. A study out of the University of California estimates that one in five North Americans have a serious anger management problem. Unfortunately, anger problems are not typically taken as seriously as they should be in our culture. A majority of people who have anger problems are still functional, and therefore are not properly encouraged or accommodated to receive anger management counseling. There is a great deal of awareness that needs to be gained for what anger problems are and where they come from.

Everyone gets angry from time to time. A degree of anger is healthy and normal. There are life elements that warrant an angry reaction, for example, when you have been wronged by someone else. Serious anger problems, however, are bursts of anger that are not warranted, occurring too frequently and too explosively. When someone does not have the ability to deal with their anger in a healthy manner, they have a real anger problem. However, anger problems are often just a side effect of a more deeply rooted problem, such as a mental disorder. Anger is a common attribute of depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder and anxiety, as well as many others. People develop anger problems because they cannot cope with life circumstances. Anger is one of many modes that people turn to in order to express the inability to cope, along with addiction, depression, fear and manic behavior. It is a very common one to turn to for those who were raised by people with anger problems.

If you wish you could control your anger problems but your own efforts seem to fail you, there is a very good chance you are in need of anger management counseling. There is no shame in seeking help. A third of North American society has some kind of mental problem, and caring professionals are eager to help you get yours under control.