So what do we mean by chronic stress?
Chronic is a word used when something is long term or has become a habit which goes un- noticed.
So in relation to stress it simply means that it has gone on for a long period of time in someone’s life and has now become so common place that it almost goes un-noticed by the sufferer.
This type of stress is not caused by changing circumstances, instead it is something which has been present in the person’s life for a long period of time and causes constant, unrelenting stress on both the body and the mind. In fact just writing that sentience has made me feel exhausted.
Imagine spending everyday with that pressure constantly on you, weighing you down and making life seem more of a drudge than a joy. I think anyone would find it exhausting.
So how does chronic stress come about if it is not to do with change? Well as with all things there are many different situations that could bring about this constant stress, but here are just a few examples:
Poverty – Living on a low income for a very long time. Having to watch every penny and not being able to afford even some of the basic of modern life.
Long term Illness – people who suffer from illness for many years and who are often in constant pain of discomfort. Such as arthritis, migraines or any other painful permanent illness.
Dysfunctional family life – Living in a household where other members of the family are abusive or violent or have an addition.
Work – having a job that you absolutely hate but cannot see a way for you to get out of.
Low self esteem – Living with a sense of self hatred or having a low opinion of yourself will over the years cause you to feel permanently under stress.
War – living in war torn countries
As you can see some of the situations are obvious to everyone that they would be stressful while others are not so obvious, hating your job or having a distressing family life for instance.
The main problem with this type of stress is that because it can go on for so long, the sufferer begins to believe that there is no way to ever get rid of it. It becomes part of their normal lives and they become resolved to the fact that life is always going to be this way. Sadly this can lead to major depression and even in worst case scenarios, to suicide.
Of course even if the sufferer does not become depressed it is likely that this long term stress could lead to other serious physical illnesses later on in life such as:
Our bodies also have a nasty way of fooling us that this type of stress is not harming us and that we can cope with it. For instance say you put your body under constant stress by say:
Often we don’t feel any ill effects for some time and so we think that we are ok and our bodies can cope with this lifestyle. However if we constantly fail to give our bodies what it needs in regards to rest and the proper diet etc it will eventually begin to break down and all that stress will start to catch up and causes all sorts of problems. Don’t be fooled, do something about it now.
Studies have shown that even if you start to exercise late in life the benefits you receive are the same as someone much younger person who has exercised all their lives. So it is never too late to change your lifestyle for the better and to reap the benefits.Stress Relief WS › Articles › Chronic Stress