08 January 2009

Is negative stress a common phenomenon?

Stress has been labelled the "plague" of the new millennium and with good reason - stress is the number one cause of modern diseases. So you are not alone!

Yes! Research has proven that 80–90% of today’s diseases are stress-related. In the US the cost of job-related stress comes to $200 billion per annum, often disguised in the form of increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, increased staff turnover, accidents, compensation claims, health insurance (medical aid) claims and medical costs.

The warning signs for going into negative stress:

  • Reduced productivity and creativity: Nothing works the way it should. Everything is too much for you. You cannot find the solutions to problems. You are afraid of making the wrong decision, so you end up not making any decision at all. You are unable to concentrate or remember things. Depression starts in much the same way.
  • A reduced feeling of wellbeing, joy and happiness: You no longer enjoy anything. You don't look forward to anything. Everything is a burden. These symptoms can be precursors to depression unless you take the necessary precautions timeously.
  • All sorts of unfortunate things happen to you. You become so preoccupied with the daily stress of living that you are unable to focus or concentrate. This leads to car accidents; you drop and break things or lose them. You cut yourself or break an arm.
  • You start avoiding social contact. Avoiding people for long periods of time is also is a sign of depression. Remember that socialising is one of the basic human needs.
  • Reduced resistance: Your immune system functions poorly and you suffer from colds, flu, allergies, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, anxiety attacks and all the diseases already mentioned - unless you take the necessary steps to restore your equilibrium.
  • Your organs and systems start to fail and physical disease processes start.
  • The ageing process accelerates because of the increased metabolism associated with uncontrolled stress. Free radicals and other waste products accumulate and cell activity deteriorates, resulting in premature ageing.


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