Stress can be defined as our body’s reaction to events happening in our lives. Stress is a defensive way that our body reacts to protect us from a perceived threat or danger, whether real or imagined. Little amounts of stress can be beneficial since they keep you alert, in control, focused, and energetic.
However, not all the time is stress positive. Excessive stress stops being helpful and causes a lot of damages. It negatively influences your mood, productivity at work and school, and even your health. Stress is different between people.
Cause of stress for one person may not be a stress for someone else?
Identifying stress is the first step in dealing with stress. There are several ways of identifying that someone has stress. Stress can manifest in different ways.
Signs and symptoms of stress may be
- Emotional, and
Physical stress can be seen through someone experiencing aches and pains, especially headaches. Diarrhea, constipation, and loss of appetite may signify stress. A person may experience nausea, dizziness, chest pains, and at times a rapid increase in heartbeat. Most stressed people tend to lose their sex drive.
Cognitive symptoms of stress may be seen in a person having memory problems such as memory loss and memory lapse, inability to concentrate on work, poor judgment, and decision-making. One is only able to see the negative in life while they ignore the positive. They are anxious and always worrying about something.
Behavioral symptoms may manifest in a person either eating a lot or eating less. When stressed, some people lose their appetite while some over-eat to overcome stress. Losing sleep and insomnia or sleeping too much may also be as a result of stress.
Some people tend to isolate themselves from other persons. They may also avoid work, neglect their responsibilities, and procrastinate on their duties. Some may take drugs and alcohol so that they may relax. Most stressed people are nervous and tend to pace about, bite their nails, and scratch their heads.
Possible Causes or Factors of Stress:
Various reasons may cause stress, and these may be internal or external factors.
External factors that contribute to stress build-up may include significant life changes such as a divorce or moving to a new environment.
- Work and school issues may also contribute to stress.
- Too much work or strenuous work may increase someone’s stress.
- Exams and high expectations from parents and teachers may cause among students.
- Problems in relationships can cause stress in the people in that relationship.
- Having financial issues in these modern times is also a great contributor to stress.
Internal causes of stress may include chronic worry, where people who worry a lot tend to accumulate a lot of stress, some of which are unnecessary.
- Worrying about things out of your control or things that have already happened and cannot be changed causes stress.
- Pessimism in what we are doing or are expecting and negative talk may be a source of stress too.
- Perfectionism and rigid thinking are also a source of internal stress.
Stress And Health Risks:
Enduring stress for a long time may impact negatively on your health.
- Experiencing stress for a long time may increase blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack or even a stroke.
- Stress may cause infertility and hasten the aging process.
- When under stress, you may experience some pain, heart diseases, and digestive problems due to poor eating habits.
- Autoimmune diseases and skin conditions like eczema may also be identified in stressed people.
Dealing with Stress
How people deal and tolerate stress varies among people. Some people can control stress better than others.
- People who are optimistic look at the positives in life and deal better with stress. They accept stress as a challenge and face it.
- Pessimistic people let stress drive them and find it difficult to cope with it. An individual’s ability to control their emotions also helps in overcoming stress.
- Emotionally stable people quickly deal with stress, unlike those who are unstable emotionally.
- Knowing what to expect may help us know how to handle stress. Not knowing when a problematic situation might end may just prolong stress.
- The friends’ someone also keeps help in stressful situations. Positive friends help one in overcoming certain situations, while negative friends may increase one’s stress.
What to do and not under Stressful condition:
Though stress causes many problems, it is easy to deal with.
- When experiencing stress, you should not engage in harmful and irrational activities, such as heavy drinking, smoking, and overeating, that may heighten it. There is no one defined method of dealing with stress because its causes are not only different but also people react differently to it.
- Stress is better managed by controlling it through taking charge of stressful situations. The first thing is to avoid unnecessary stressful situations. Avoid worrying about situations that you cannot change or have control over.
- Things such as death, the disease that we have no power over should not cause us stress though they may cause us pain.
- Try to share your problems with other people, your friends, and your family members. They will not only share in the burden but also help you through the situation.
- You are also encouraged to adapt to situations and to be flexible when dealing with stress. This helps you overcome the problem and bring out some positivity from it. Accepting that certain things have happened may also reduce our stress.
When under stress, you need to set aside some time to relax so as to improve your physical health.
- People in good physical health tend to be less stressed, and their body responds better to stressful situations. It would help if you looked for an activity that makes you feel relaxed, like yoga or any other thing that is not mentally taxing.
- Regular exercise is also essential because, as you exercise, the body releases hormones that make your brain relax too. When the mind relaxes, mental stress reduces significantly.
- Eating healthy foods also puts the body into an excellent physical form and helps curb some effect of stress.
Must read: Six Common Barriers To Happiness