What is Stress?
Any form of physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension is stress. Stress is a normal part of life. It can be external i.e., environment, psychological, or social situations or internal (illness or from a medical procedure). A person experiences stress in their day to day life due to very demanding or from adverse situations. Stress affects different people differently according to the circumstances that they are facing in their lives. Excessive stress, or stress if left unchecked can lead to many health problems like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
What happens to your wellbeing when you are stressed?
Stress can negatively affect your well being. Some of these detrimental factors include:
- Electric signals in your hippocampus deteriorate which effects your learning, memory and stress control ability.
- Cortisol can shrink your brain size, literally.
- Too much Cortisol can result in the loss of a synaptic connection between neurons.
- A decrease in new brain cells in the hippocampus. Again, your ability to learn and remember things.
- It affects your DNA which you will pass on to the next generations.
Signs and symptoms of stress.
- Acne: One of the most common effects of increased stress is the body reacting to it in the form of acne. Higher stress levels contribute to the spread of bacteria and the growth and development of acne on the face.
- Frequent Headaches: Stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption all contribute to headaches in the majority of adults.
- Chronic Pain: Studies show that higher the level of stress experienced by a person, the more they experience aches and pains.
- Decreased energy and unable to sleep: Chronic stress leads to up to decreased energy and insomnia. Having a healthy sleeping pattern and a properly nutritious diet is key to managing and controlling stress.
- Appetite changes: When you are stressed out either you lose your appetite and have nothing at all or you start having unhealthy quantities of food. Both are harmful to the body.
- Depression: Acute stress can contribute to the development of depression.
- Rapid Heartbeat: An increased heart rate is an indicator of someone experiencing stress.
- Sweating: We often sweat when we’re nervous or anxious about something. This means we’re experiencing acute stress which leads to excessive sweating.
Are you stressed? Let’s find out.
- You do not want to exercise.
- You are sleeping restlessly.
- You are forgetting little things.
- You get irritated at times.
- You are overwhelmed and isolated.
What can you do about it?
There are various ways to manage stress.
Stress Management has become extremely essential in today’s times. It is mandatory to pay attention to how one deals with minor and major stressors so as to seek help when needed.
Practical steps need to be taken to cope with stress such as being observant of the body’s response to stress like difficulty in sleeping, feeling depressed, having low energy, getting easily irritable, increased dependence on alcohol and other substance use.
Look at situations positively. If you keep a positive mindset, you will be better equipped to face a stressful, challenging situation.
Getting regular exercise is an effective way to manage your stress and boost both your mood and health.
Talk to your closed ones. Stay connected with them. Spending time with your family and friends can help boost your mood and provide much needed emotional support. Always remember, you are never alone.
Setting aside time for hobbies like listening to music, reading a book so as to Meditate. Because meditation calms you and naturally positively energizes you. If you do not know much about meditation, then just close your eyes and do conscious deep slow breathing.
Set goals and priorities. Having a goal and accomplishing it feels great. Set small goals for yourself every day.
Understand your fundamental goals and live in concert with these goals and values. If you are not able to live your life up to your goals and fundamental values, then that causes a lot of stress on you.
Stress, if seen as a challenge that can be overcome, can have a positive effect. It can motivate you to work hard and give you the right push to pursue your goals. If you keep a positive mindset and practice healthy behavior, you can improve your situation.