How to Live a Stress-Free Life - Anthony Ekanem - ebook
Opis

These days everyone is feeling pressure. We rush at work, we rush at home, there's always so much that needs to be done. Stress and anxiety have become part of our lives. But how do we deal with it? Most people don't know. Stress causes havoc on our bodies. Let it rage free and stress will make you sick. The statistics are staggering. One in every eight Americans between the age of 18 and 54 suffers from an anxiety disorder. This totals over 19 million people! Research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, surpassing even depression. Women are affected almost twice as much as men and it's the number one mental health problem among this gender. Men are not unaffected though; anxiety disorders in males are second only to alcohol and drug abuse. Anxiety not only takes a toll on our health but on our checkbooks, to the tune of $46.6 billion annually in the United States. Anxiety sufferers see an average of five doctors before being successfully diagnosed. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand. One of the major symptoms of stress is anxiety. And stress accounts for 80% of all illnesses either directly or indirectly. Stress is more dangerous than originally thought. You probably already know that it can raise your blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of a stroke. But recently it's been claimed that 90% of visits to a primary healthcare physician were because of stress-related disorders. Health Psychology magazine reports that chronic stress can interfere with the normal function of the body's immune system. And studies have proven that stressed individuals have an increased vulnerability to catching an illness and are more susceptible to allergic, autoimmune, or cardiovascular diseases.

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How to Live a Stress-Free Life

Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Conclusion

 

Introduction

 

These days everyone is feeling pressure. We rush at work, we rush at home, there’s always so much that needs to be done. Stress and anxiety have become part of our lives. But how do we deal with it? Most people don’t know. Stress causes havoc on our bodies. Let it rage free and stress will make you sick.

 

The statistics are staggering. One in every eight Americans between the age of 18 and 54 suffers from an anxiety disorder. This totals over 19 million people! Research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, surpassing even depression. Women are affected almost twice as much as men and it’s the number one mental health problem among this gender. Men are not unaffected though; anxiety disorders in males are second only to alcohol and drug abuse.

 

Anxiety not only takes a toll on our health but on our checkbooks, to the tune of $46.6 billion annually in the United States. Anxiety sufferers see an average of five doctors before being successfully diagnosed.

Stress and anxiety go hand in hand. One of the major symptoms of stress is anxiety. And stress accounts for 80% of all illnesses either directly or indirectly.

 

Stress is more dangerous than originally thought. You probably already know that it can raise your blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of a stroke. But recently it’s been claimed that 90% of visits to a primary healthcare physician were because of stress-related disorders.

 

Health Psychology magazine reports that chronic stress can interfere with the normal function of the body's immune system. And studies have proven that stressed individuals have an increased vulnerability to catching an illness and are more susceptible to allergic, autoimmune, or cardiovascular diseases. Doctors agree that during chronic stress, the functions of the body that are nonessential to survival, such as the digestive and immune systems, shut down. Stress is making us sick. Furthermore, stress often prompts people to respond in unhealthy ways such as smoking, drinking alcohol, eating poorly, or becoming physically inactive. This damages the body in addition to the wear and tear of the stress itself.

 

You can’t eliminate stress; it’s part of life. You can however manage it. It’s how we react to it that makes the difference. Coping techniques will help you control stress so that you can maintain your health and happiness.

 

 

Chapter 1

Why Are We So Stressed Out?

 

We're living in very trying and difficult times. Technology and advancements have made things more complicated than the simple life our ancestors lived. Sometimes life can be terribly painful and unfair. Why do some people manage to get through it easier than others? They have better tools.

 

Society as a whole is more stressed. Millions of people are in record levels of debt. Many are losing their jobs, their homes, their health and sometimes even their sanity. Worry, depression and anxiety seem to have become a way of life.

 

It seems like we’ve entered the age of anxiety. In fact, Time Magazine once proclaimed this in one of their issues. The constant stress and uncertainties of living in the 21st century have certainly taken their toll. The result is that many people are now living in a state of constant fear and worry.

 

When the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened, this became magnified. In fact, even now, years later, people report they are still scared everyday. They worry that something of that magnitude will happen again.

 

Turn on the news or open up a newspaper and you’re bombarded with disturbing images and stories. You begin to wonder if you’re safe anywhere. The information age is providing us access to endless data. Most of what is covered by the media is unsettling and disturbing news.

 

Having more women in the workplace adds to the stress. Many women feel the need to be everything to everyone and that includes a paycheck earner, housekeeper, mother, wife, daughter, and sibling. Trying to cram everything in and do it well is a huge stress factor. Women are so busy doing everything that they don’t make time for themselves, and if they do, they feel guilt. This cycle is a losing one and it’s driving stress levels to an all-time high.

 

Even children can feel the pressure of stress and anxiety. Teenagers who want to go to college feel pressure to obtain scholarships. They need part-time jobs to earn money for extras that their parents can no longer afford. Add peer pressure into the mix and you have a veritable pressure cooker!

 

Cell phones, Internet, palm pilots, blackberries, I-pods – we are always on the go and always reachable. There’s no downtime in life any more. We’re so busy that we’ve forgotten how to relax and our minds are constantly going over what needs to be done.

 

We feel pressure to do these things because we think we HAVE to, not because we WANT to. It’s difficult for people to just say “No”. Not saying that one little word piles up un-needed expectations and obligations that make us feel anxious.

 

All of us will experience situations that may cause us to become stressed or feel anxious. The reasons are endless but here’s a few common stress triggers:

buying a property

career pressures

having guests stay over

being bullied

exams

looking after children

managing finances

relationship issues

deaths

illnesses

traveling

 

Stress is a ‘normal’ function of everyday life. Only when it starts to take over your life does it become a problem.

 

Everyone reacts to stressful situations differently. It’s usually when we don’t feel in control of a situation, that we feel its grip tightening around us causing extreme stress. Regain that control and lose the stress. You have everything inside you that you need to overcome stress and the accompanying anxiety. You can gain the upper hand on stress.

 

Let’s first look at the barriers we put up that are preventing us from becoming healthy and getting rid of our anxiety and stress.

 

Blocking Behaviors Keeping Your Stress Alive

There are three obsessive behaviors that you are likely to be engaging in that impede your healing process and stop you from enjoying life. Recognizing these barriers is the first step toward getting rid of the problems that happen when you’re too stressed.