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Jul 4, 2013

Healthy Living is ready for chronic stress management

Everyone has to deal with stress. If you are good at managing your stress levels then most times you’re okay with a bit of added pressure; in these cases some stress is actually beneficial. However, there are instances where a person may be under too much stress that can wear them down and make them sick, both mentally and physically. One mental health professional speaks about the signs of being “too stressed” in tonight’s segment of healthy living.


Aimee Jex, Mental Health Professional

“Everyone experiences stress. Stress is a part of daily living. Anything you do – you have a deadline you are stressed. You have to get to work on time – you experience stress. Stress is something that happens every day to everyone.”


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Aimee Jex

Aimee Jex is one of several mental health professionals, or counselors, working in Belize. She speaks of how common it is for people to feel stressed. Firstly, stress, is an actual physical reaction to any abnormal pressure. Those pressures often time, are linked to everyday challenges, like difficulties at work, money matters and relationships with partners, children or other family members. It can also be triggered by major life events.


Aimee Jex

“The important part then is to know when your stress is manageable and when to identify that your stress is overwhelming. Some people thrive on that pressure. Some people knowing that they have a report for their work due and they have to stay up all night and that’s when they function best. With other people it’s one they have two or three things that have to get done and they haven’t gotten it done. They start becoming overwhelmed by it. So it’s very, very individual.  Every person has to know to live a balanced like, if you can’t sleep about it that’s something that can be a sign of stress, if you constant headaches, that is a sign, if you feel run down and exhausted that‘s a sign. Very often people experience somatization issues where instead of having that emotion problem, they start getting headaches, they start getting joint pains they start getting physical signs. So that’s when you know that you’re overwhelmed.”


Each person has a different threshold when dealing with stress and understanding your own personal limitations is vital. In other words, know the difference between when stress is helping – like pushing you rise to meet challenges; or, when  it is harming you – affecting your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and even your quality of life.


Aimee Jex

“For children every often, everyone gets very irritable, so that’s one way that people can know if they are impacted. Always angry, people don’t like being around people who are angry all the time. They find out that they become cut off from many people; they don’t talk because they don’t communicate very well. So that way you can impact your relationships, children can become irritable at school; because of the stress and they explode, adults don’t usually explode, they do become violent, they do start screaming they look like a little kid during a tantrum.  A nervous breakdown, can that occur? Well nervous breakdown can happen then. Leaving your home is a nervous breakdown, leaving your job is nervous breakdown, getting into a fight with your boss is a nervous breakdown depending on how people look at it. this is what happens with stress, it leads to anxiety, it leads to depression but that nervous breakdown is very nebulous because let’s say you go scream at your job because you just can’t get enough that can be a nervous breakdown but it can also be just not showing up to work one day.”


Jex says that usually people dealing with chronic stress, don’t even realize the changes. It is usually someone from within their support system that may have to point it out. Her advice is to tackle your stressors before becoming overwhelmed.


Aimee Jex

“When you find that you are there already it’s a little bit too far. Before you get there you have to learn to relax and to take the time off, you have to figure out; ok, I will get stressed out if I don’t manage it now. So let me take a break now. It’s like when you’re sitting down and doing work; you can do it for a long period of time so you can refresh your mind and continue.  What can you do in that case? You find a way to have a relaxing activity in your life.  A lot of people find it easier to exercise. A lot of people just sit down in front of the TV and relax and say ok this is my time. A lot of people put on a candle and they read. Or you can do something to just take time for yourself and just to have that time to – ok  for this half hour I won’t worry about the bills; I won’t worry about the kids because they re somewhere else or something like that.”


Stress management is based on an individual taking charge of their thoughts and emotions. If you feel you need help in coping, then seek the advice of a professional or reach out to persons you can trust.


Aimee Jex

“The definitive thing is a change in normal functioning. That’s when anything becomes diagnosable. If you’re an angry person and you’ve always been an angry person, you keep functioning…even if you are an angry person…it’s considered ok…but when you can’t function in one or two different areas, that’s when it’s time to seek help because if you’re not having good relationships at home and working ell at work then it affects you personally.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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