An event like a house fire can produce tremendous amounts of stress for those who live in the house. That’s because our bodies respond to traumatic events as if they are faced with life or death in the wild or plains of the ancient world. The difference is our bodies can’t get out of the stressful situation following a house fire simply by fighting or flighting.
Because you are unable to neutralize these chemicals that are being sent to your brain, they build up and cause more strain on your life. You begin to feel very overwhelmed and your brain keeps releasing chemicals that you can’t get rid of.
Adding to the Problem
In the midst of all the stress from a house fire, you are also typically forced to continue life as normal. You have to go to work, talk with other people and pick your kids up from school. In addition, you have to go to soccer practice, the grocery store, the dry cleaners and you have to cook dinner.
It can be hard to focus because you have so many different thoughts buzzing around in your head and your daily life suffers from it. You are unable to focus and work effectively because you are so distracted with life’s stresses. You may even feel physical changes such as tension headaches and shaky hands.
When you are in such a state, you are unable to think clearly and you have more accidents. You then get to the point to where you are dealing with long-term stress all of the time. Here you have to make one of two decisions:
- Are you being threatened or endangered by a situation?
- Are you able to handle and control the effect of this situation?
The amount of stress that you feel in any situation depends on how much danger you face and whether or not you can handle that danger. But, what happens if you can’t get rid of stress?
Effects of Long-Term Stress
Here are some of the side effects associated with long-term stress:
- Appetite problems
- Sleep problems
- Depression of the immune system
- Chronic illness
- Stomach cramps
- Heart attack
- Tension headaches
- Loss of memory
- Thyroid problems
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug abuse
Do any of these sound familiar? Most people can probably pick at least two or three items off of this list that they suffer from on a regular basis. If you recently suffered a house fire, you may be experiencing even more of them. When you are under long-term stress your brain is unable to release those chemicals that make you fight or flight and the result is one, two, three or more of the items off of this list.
People may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after a house fire. If you have been having a hard time dealing with your stress following a traumatic event, it’s important to contact a licensed therapist to help you better cope with the situation.
Increased Stress is Not Good for Your Health
High amounts of stress can raise your blood pressure. It can weaken your immune system and increase your chances of getting sick. It can also cause you to feel depressed or to get into a bad mood and pass the stress on to others.
One thing you can try to do is get on a schedule. If you are able to get on a schedule and stay on one then you’re going to find that life is a lot less stressful. In fact, it is very important to get on a daily, regular schedule following a house fire. This will ensure that your body gets enough sleep and that your daily rhythms remain consistent.
A common problem that arises when we are under stress – particularly the large amount of stress that comes with a house fire is that we have trouble sleeping. If you have problems sleeping, it may take about a month for your body to get back on a regular sleeping pattern. If you keep to a normal schedule by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning, your body will adjust much more quickly.
Tips for Relieving Stress After a House Fire
Tip #1: Improve your sleep
The best thing you can do when you’re stressed is to relax your mind. TV keeps you thinking and doesn’t allow your brain to relax. Sleeping in the same position every night will help you as well. This will allow both your mind and body to relax. You also want to learn to breathe deeply and fully, pulling the air deep into your lungs. Take long deep breaths and consciously relax your muscles.
Start with your neck and jaw and work your way down to your feet. If you are unable to fall asleep after about 45 minutes, then go ahead and try to do some reading. Also, don’t do anything that really wakes you up. Don’t exercise, watch an intense movie or play video games. This will just cause you to get a “second wind” and you won’t be able to calm down and rest. After you read for about 30 minutes or so, try to go back to sleep. Try not to get frustrated because you can’t sleep, as you will only make it harder on yourself.
Tip #2: Take cold showers
Just 3 to 5 minutes of showering with cold water can make you feel like a new, more relaxed person. The cold water will stress your body and force you to overcome it so that you feel less stressed afterwards. A cold shower can also boost your energy. This is not recommended for anyone with a heart condition or severe health problems.
Tip #3: Write it out
Physically writing down why you are feeling stressed can help you better understand why are you are feeling the way you feel and also make you more appreciative of the good things in your life.
Tip #4: Do at-home yoga
Another great way to relieve stress is to do yoga. Simply clear a spot in your home and put on a yoga routine from YouTube or another source and exercise your stress away.
Tip #5: Play soothing music
Playing soft music is a great way to take your mind off the things that are causing you stress and to relax. You may even want to try doing a little meditation while you listen to the relaxing music.
Tip #6: Enjoy relaxing scents
Burning scented candles is a great way to relax and reduce your stress level as well. There are even some scents that are known for being relaxing – like lavender, vanilla and jasmine. Strong scents like peppermint can also be good for breaking your train of thought if you are spending a lot of time worrying.
Tip #7: Sell your fire damaged house
Another thing that may be good for relieving stress after a house fire is to put the whole matter behind you. You can do that by selling your house as is to We Buy Fire Damaged Houses.
To see if your fire damaged house qualifies for a free quote, fill out the short form below.