Stress is something that is often difficult to avoid. I am sure you are aware of some of the negative effects of stress such as trouble focusing or mood changes but this contributed post provides three effects of stress that can make parenting more difficult.
We can all deal with stress at times, it’s a normal human response to help keep us safe. However, chronic stress isn’t normal, it’s not something anyone should have to deal with. Not only is it unpleasant but it can lead to a whole host of other issues. Here are some of the reasons you should nip stress in the bud, and prevent it from spiraling out of control.
It can lead to mental and physical health issues
What starts off as feelings of stress can easily spiral into mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. These kinds of conditions really can rule a person’s life, they can make it much more difficult to get through your daily tasks. Depression can be so bad it can make you not want to get out of bed in the morning, it can make you lose interest in things you previously enjoyed. Not good news when you’re a busy mother who simply needs to get things done to keep your family running smoothly.
Anxiety can manifest in many ways, you could develop OCD or a fear of going outside (agoraphobia). You could have intrusive thoughts which could prevent you going out and living your best life. Some people will develop these conditions regardless, however, they can manifest in others starting from feeling stressed and worn down. Stress can also cause physical issues such as high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and eating disorders, skin issues and much more. Stress puts a lot of strain on your body, physically and mentally.
It can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms
As humans, we are pleasure-seeking animals. We’re hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, which makes sense for the survival of our species but there can be snags. It can mean that we can find ways of increasing our pleasure and minimizing pain (current stress levels) by doing things that are unhealthy in the long run. It could be excessive shopping, over-exercising, overeating or gambling.
It could mean we start drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs as a way to escape. It’s easy to stereotype addicts as being certain kinds of people, but addiction doesn’t discriminate. It affects both genders, all ages and people from all walks of life, you can learn more here. When we’re feeling stressed, it’s important to find healthy coping mechanisms. Focus on self-care, and know when to seek professional advice.
It can affect our children
As parents, we truly want what’s best for our children. None of us are perfect, but there’s nothing more devastating than knowing we’re not living up to our best potential as a parent. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed, your focus is likely to be on your stress more than your children. You might be irritable, snappy and short with them. You might not want to enjoy activities together and being stressed could cause you to miss out on a huge part of your kid’s childhoods where you generally feel absent or uneasy. If you can’t seek help for yourself, do it for them.
Chronic stress is responsible for many of our health issues. I know all too well the effects stress can have on my body and have to be careful to avoid stressful situations. Stress not only affects your body but it takes a toll on your mind. I often find it difficult to focus or concentrate when I am stressed.
I think the reason we develop unhealthy coping mechanisms is that we desire those things which are easiest. A bottle of alcohol is easy but it is only a temporary fix. Healthier coping mechanisms such as exercise or a healthy diet may take time to get used to but in the long run, it will help make stressful situations easier to deal with.
We may not realize how stress affects our children but it truly does. When you are stressed you tend to be moody and your children pay the price. This not only hurts time spent with your children, it teaches them unhealthy habits.
Stress may be hard to avoid but it doesn’t have to be hard to overcome.
What is another way stress affects you? Leave a comment below.