Everyone feels stressed from time to time. But what exactly is stress? Stress is what we feel when the body reacts to pressure; pressure develops from work, family, money, illness, or from our needs such as wanting to achieve a goal, wanting to fit in, or the way you feel about yourself. Stress is a normal part of life, and everyone handles it differently.
Here are five things one should know about stress:
1. Not all stress is bad
Stress can motivate people to prepare or perform in situations like giving interviews. Stress can be life-saving in some situations. In response to danger, our body prepares to face a threat or flee to safety. However, long-term stress can harm your health.
2. What is Stress Response?
The stress response floods your body with chemicals made to prepare you for “fight or flight”. This helps you react quickly under pressure, gets you ready to meet challenges, and is helpful in real emergencies. After the pressure or emergency has passed, the Stress Response is supposed to turn off so that your body can rest. If your body is always in “fight or flight” mode, it can wear your body down. If this continues for a long time, it can have adverse effects on your physical health and wellbeing.
3. Signs Your Stress Response is Overworking
• Changes in Feelings • Feeling sad, edgy, irritable, anxious, or panicked • Blaming others for bad things that happen to us • Symptoms of Depression • Only seeing negatives of situations • Feeling like things that made us happy is no more fun now • Physical Ailments • Dry mouth or skin problems • Loss of appetite or need to eat constantly • Headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea, or constipation • Trouble sleeping • How Stress Harms Your Health
4. Health conditions due to stress
Stress can affect your health, and hence, it is essential to pay attention to how you deal with minor and major stress events. Stress is not a disease by itself but it can be a MAJOR CAUSE of these health conditions: • Anxiety Disorder • Depression • Diabetes • Hair loss • Heart disease • Hyperthyroidism • Sexual Dysfunction • Tooth and gum disease • Ulcers • Weight gain or loss
5. How to Lower Your Stress?
Don’t over-schedule yourself – Give time for yourself and do things you like doing, for things that make you laugh, and for moments with friends and family.
Prioritize- Ask for Help – Make a list of all the things that should be done. Decide the priority things, which are less critical and can wait, and which you can get help with. Then work on them one by one.
Healthy Habits – Exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep.
Relax, stay connected -Take time every day to calm down. Try going for walks, reading, doing a craft, sitting, and enjoying yourself with friends or family. Stay connected with people who can provide emotional and other support.
Starting a Relaxation Response Practice – It is a state of rest that is opposite to the Stress Response. It tells our body to stop the fight or flight mode.
This can be practiced by setting aside 10 to 20 minutes once or twice each day to practice a Relaxation Method.
Find a quiet place to sit or lie down alone to practice: • Deep Breathing • Exercise, Yoga • Guided or Visual Imagery • Mindful Meditation
Consult the doctor if you are overwhelmed by stress. If you have suicidal thoughts or are overwhelmed, or are under drug/alcohol abuse, you should seek help right away. The doctor may recommend your treatment based on the level of stress.
Avoid stress by practicing management techniques. Make a note of these warning signs and health conditions associated with stress and have a healthy life.
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