We all experience stress at some point in our lives; it’s a natural response to life’s inevitable highs and lows. Our surroundings, our bodies, and our own thoughts and perceptions can all contribute to our overall stress levels.
What is stress?
Stress is described as any form of change that creates physical, emotional, or mental strain. Stress occurs whenever our body perceives a need for it to pay attention to or take action. The human condition is inherently vulnerable to stress. To what extent stress negatively affects our health depends on how we react to it.
Our body adapts to stress. Stress can be beneficial in that it keeps us attentive, motivated, and ready to avert danger. If a big presentation is coming up, for instance, our body may benefit from the stress reaction by working harder and staying awake for longer. But stress becomes a problem when there is neither a break from it nor a chance to relax.
How does the body react to stress?
When we experience feelings of being under pressure, the neurological system gives our bodies the instruction to release stress hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. These things cause changes in our bodies that make us better able to deal with the threat or danger we think is coming. The reaction to stress is sometimes known as the “fight-or-flight” mechanism.
Chronic stress happens when we are under stress for a long time. It keeps the body’s stress response going, which causes wear and tear. We begin to exhibit physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.
What are the signs of stress?
The following are examples of the physical signs of stress:
- Negative physiological responses include aches and pains all over the body
- Pain in the chest or the sensation that your heart is beating too quickly.
- Sleeplessness or nightmares, mental fogginess, indecision, and trouble focusing
- Pain in the head, lightheadedness, or trembling.
- Tension in the muscles or clenching of the jaw.
- Stomach or intestinal disorders.
- Nausea, vomiting, and a rash
- Weak immune system.
Stress can cause a variety of mental and emotional effects, including the following:
- Nervousness and/or irritability
- Instances of panic
When we live with chronic stress, we often try to deal with it by doing things that are bad for us, such as:
- Excessive consumption or use of alcoholic beverages
- Consuming excessive amounts of food or developing an eating disorder.
- Engaging in sexual activity, shopping, or perusing the internet in an obsessive manner.
- Using drugs.
How to deal with stress
We can deal with stress in a healthy way by practicing the following:
- Take a break from news, whether on TV, radio, or social media. Although knowledge is power, continual reminders of the tragedy can be stressful. Consider cutting the intake of news to just a couple of times each day and taking a break from phone, television, and computer screens for a bit.
- Maintain one’s own health. Get lots of rest, relax when feeling pressured, and take care of your physical and mental health by eating right and exercising regularly. Avoid excessive alcohol, cigarette, and substance usage. Continue with standard preventative measures (such as immunizations, cancer screenings, etc.) as prescribed by your healthcare professional.
- Spend some time unwinding. It’s recommended that we take part in some of our own favorite extracurriculars.
- Connect with people. Share your worries and emotions with individuals you can trust. Talk to an adult about what’s bothering you and how you’re handling it. This could be a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.
- Change your point of view. When trying to solve a problem, thinking about the worst-case scenario, makes you feel more stressed. Concentrate your efforts on discovering viable solutions.
- Get your priorities straight and your schedule in order. In order to remain focused and on task, it is helpful to establish deadlines, compose a to-do list, and make use of a calendar and any other resources available to you.
- Plan beforehand. If you frequently have feelings of being rushed, you should spend a few minutes reviewing the information in your planner. Look for activities that may be eliminated entirely, as well as tasks that can be delegated to another member of the team.
In reality, there is no way to live a life free of stress. Having more than one way to deal with stress before and after it happens will help you live a much better life. Keep living!