“Demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilise.”
Here at The Stress Management Society we use a bridge analogy to approach the topic of stress.
When a bridge is carrying too much weight, it will eventually collapse. It is possible to see the warning signs before this happens, the bridge would bow, buckle and creak.
The same principle can be applied to human beings, with excessive demands and challenges placed on our bridges. There may be early warning signs. However stress can creep up on some of us, resulting in an unexpected breakdown.
That ‘bridge collapse’ in a human being could take many forms:
- Mental and Emotional Breakdown
- Taking one’s own life
- Serious health issues including:
- Cardiovascular disease: The heart is the first organ in the body to experience stress. The No. 1 killer on the planet today is heart disease and it’s no coincidence that as we find ourselves living under higher and higher levels of stress the instance of heart disease is increasing.
- Stress has a profound impact on how your body’s systems function, Health experts are still sorting out whether stress actually causes cancer. Yet there’s little doubt that it promotes the growth and spread of some forms of the disease. Put simply, stress makes your body more hospitable to cancer.
- Stress can cause a rise in blood pressure – the main cause of haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure, which can weaken the arteries in the brain and make them prone to split or rupture.
The key message is that if we are able to recognise when we have too much demand on our bridge then we can take action to prevent ourselves from getting anywhere near the bridge collapsing which thankfully most of us will never experience or see.