Mental Health

Stress is something we all experience at some point. Whether it’s the stress of a child’s first exam, the stress that gets your adrenalin pumping before you start a race or the stress of meeting a work deadline. Stress is a natural part of life. The problem happens when stress becomes chronic ongoing stress which may cause many serious health problems, including the following:

• Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
• Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks and strokes
• Obesity and eating disorders
• Menstrual problems
• Skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema
• Permanent hair loss
• Gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis and an irritable colon

The important thing to note is the difference between stress and a mental problem such as anxiety. Stress is the body’s normal response to daily pressures and changes. Stress is not considered to be a mental disorder. However, anxiety has no identifiable root cause and continues even after the stressor has been removed. Anxiety also results in the fear of what lies ahead and is considered a mental disorder.

If chronic stress has resulted in you feeling the following symptoms, you could be suffering from anxiety – which means you may need to seek professional advice:

• Diarrhoea
• Confusion
• Decreased concentration and focus
• Hypervigilance and paranoia
• Fear of losing control
• Feeling overwhelmed, as if losing control or needing to take control

If you are feeling any of the following symptoms, you could be suffering from depression, and should also seek out your healthcare provider:

• Persistent sadness
• Self-loathing
• Loss of interest in all activities
• Irritability and self-isolation
• Anxiety
• Loss of energy
• Disturbed sleep patterns
• Change in appetite and body weight
• Reckless behaviour
• Suicidal thoughts

To avoid chronic stress and the results thereof, we recommend that you try and manage your stress. Consider the following ways you could deal with your stress:

• Consider speaking to a family member or friend about how you’re feeling and asking for their advice and help. Be sure to choose an empathetic individual.
• Try spend a little more time outdoors – a walk in the park, a jog, a hike. Anything to get that heart rate up and some fresh air in your lungs.
• Research time management techniques to help you manage your time better
• There are many videos on YouTube that are free and help you learn different breath techniques. Teach yourself how to breath better
• Consider listening to free mental wellbeing podcasts

We know there will always be a deadline calling your name, or a boss who is a workaholic and expects the same of you. But try and find the small pockets of time in the day to care for yourself and envision the life you want. You can have it.

May the VITAFORCE be with you.

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