As a human we all experiences Stress to some degree. From work related, career, family, financial pressures and relationships. Stress is inevitable but it can effectively be managed. In other words, the way we respond to stress can make a big difference to our well-being.
What is STRESS?
Stress is your body’s reaction to any kind of demand or threat. It is how your body responds to pressures from situations or life events (such as traumatic events), challenges. It is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. And of course it is your body’s natural defense against predators and danger. When you encounter stress, your body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that initiate a ‘flight or fight’ response and activate your immune system. Once Stress triggers the fight-or-flight response, certain hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released. This speeds your heart rate, slows digestion, shunts blood flow to major muscle groups, and changes various other autonomic nervous functions, giving your body a burst of energy and strength.
Basically, there are two types of stress:
Acute stress – which is the short-term stress that goes away quickly. Everyone has acute stress at one time or another, it occurs when you do something exciting or new. It also helps you manage dangerous situations.
Chronic stress – which is the long-term stress that lasts for a longer period of time. This occurs when you are unhappy, having financial problems, dysfunctional family, and trouble at work. Chronic stress can eventually lead to health problems if it can’t be managed.
SYMPTOMS OF STRESS
The Physical symptoms of stress are:
- Nervous Twitches
- Nausea, dizziness
- Pins And Needles Sensations
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Pain In The Back Or Chest
- Cramps Or Muscle Spasms
- Weight loss or gain
- Frequent colds or flu
The Chronic stress symptoms are;
- Heart Disease
- Anxiety and Agitation
- High Blood Pressure
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Erectile dysfunction (Impotence) And Loss Of Libido
- Lower Immunity Against Diseases
- Stomach Upset
- Muscular Aches
- Sleeping Difficulties
Emotional reactions symptoms of stress are:
- Nail Biting
- Concentration Issues
- Irritability, or Moodiness
- A Feeling Of Insecurity
- Loneliness and Isolation
Stress-associated behaviors symptoms are:
- Relationship Problems
- Social Withdrawal
- Drug And Alcohol Misuse
- Sudden Angry Outbursts
- Frequent Crying
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Higher Tobacco Consumption
- Food Cravings And Eating Too Much Or Too Little
CAUSES OF STRESS
Basically, there are many different things in life that can cause stress. And People react differently to stressful situations; what might be stressful to you might be amusing to someone else; they may even enjoy it. Stress is related to both external and internal factors.
External causes of stress are:
- Job loss
- Death of a spouse
- Death of a close family member
- Marriage separation
- Marriage reconciliation
- Injury or illness
Internal causes of stress are:
- Negative self-talk
- All-or-nothing attitude
- Inability to accept uncertainty
- Unrealistic expectations / perfectionism
- Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
REMEDY FOR STRESS
Apparently, stress is inevitable however it can be managed. For stress to be dealt with effectively, depends on how you react to them. In order for you to take charge of your health, you need to reduce the impact stress has on your life.
- Regular exercise like walking, running, swimming, and dancing can lift your mood.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol, drugs, and caffeine
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Get enough Rest and Sleep. A good sleep routine is very essential. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, do something calm and relaxing before you go to bed like listening to music or reading.
- Stay connected with people who can provide emotional support and practical help.
- Be assertive on your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
- Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
- Always ensure that you keep a positive attitude.
In conclusion, the more stress you accumulate, the heavier it becomes. If you accumulate too much, the weight of carrying it can break you.