Burn out | Healthy Routines | Mindfulness | Stress

Stress: The Two Stress Scales

There are actually two stress levels that are important to keep track of:

1. One is the stress-scale that I explained in last week’s session, i.e. how the level of stress generally fluctuates in the human body during the day depending on activity level and intensity.

2. The other is your general baseline stress-level over the week. This is how stressed you are on a general level when rested and when doing ordinary activities in your daily life.

Last week the exercise was about tracking your stress level for a week using the stress-scale. Using this information you can now see if you go up and down in stress-level as expected over the day and week. You can also see the connection between stress and your general mode and state.

The baseline stress-level can get more permanently heightened when having a stressful life. This means that the body never becomes sufficiently relaxed. Common symptoms of an augmented general stress level are difficulties falling asleep with even ordinary thoughts racing, waking-up early and having difficulties falling asleep again, during daytime a rapid pace in movements, rapid shifts of emotions with reactions much stronger and more difficult to control than normal. Some people get problems remembering things and have difficulties concentrating.

If the body and mind do not get sufficient recovery and exercise over a longer time period, the body can start to produce even more intense symptoms like dizziness, vision problems, nausea and frequent panic attacks. It is even possible to wake up with panic attacks – scary!

Also, if you have an augmented stress-baseline, you more frequently risk getting up at the level 8-10 on the stress-scale for situations that you earlier could handle without difficulties. i.e. at level 7 or below. Remember, on this augmented level we can no longer think clearly, but instead acts more impulse-driven like reptiles: short sighted and reactive to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

Next week I will give you tips on how to calm yourself when in this uncomfortable high level and how to decrease your general stress-baseline.

#howstressed #stressmanagement #selfhelp

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