Stress is a state of being tense, it can be physical, mental, or emotional. It is a response to a different environment or occurrence that requires adjustment or response, this reaction is often termed as the “fight or flight” response to stimuli.
Stress is also the body’s way of reacting to pressure and threats. It can be triggered by activity within the body or external activities.
Stress can be Positive or Negative, for instance excitement or anticipation is a positive form of stress also experiencing cold feet or having the feeling of “butterflies in your tummy” can also be described as a positive form of stress. In most cases these feelings do not last long and hence may not constitute too much burden on the body and overall well being. However negative stress, such as emotional strain, work pressure, grief or financial burden may last longer if allowed to linger and these can pose a threat to the body as well as overall mental and physical wellbeing.
Stress is usually caused by various things ranging from physical, to emotional, mental and lifestyle imbalances, these are called “Stressors” because they trigger stress, they may include one or more of the following;
- Strenuous physical activities, such as work out, work load, chores, walking, lifting heavy materials and activities that put pressure on us physically.
- Emotional imbalances such as a divorce, planning a wedding, rocky relationships/marriage, losing a loved one, preparing for a new child can also trigger stress in the body.
- Starting and raising a family can also be stressful especially for fresh starters or people with limiting challenges.
- Chronic illnesses or injuries can also cause stress these include, sleep disorders like inadequate sleep or inability to sleep, heart problems, digestive problems and weight disorders, viral ailments and epidemic breakouts.
- Worrying too much and overthinking can also be a cause of stress
- Mental tasks like having to make a decision, draw a conclusion, make plans; give judgements or taking up managerial duties can also cause stress.
SYMPTOMS AND EFFECTS
Stress, more especially negative stress in most cases should not be allowed to last long. If allowed stress will eventually have a bad and sometimes life threatening effect on health and overall wellbeing. Once you notice you exhibit some traits there are chances that your system may me under some form of stress and hence is reacting to it. Some of these symptoms include;
- Worrying constantly
- Inability to draw conclusions or give judgement
- Memory problems such as memory loss or clouded reasoning
- Anxiety this includes fear about certain situations and persistent worrying
- Mood swings
- Aches and pain
- Low sex drive
- Recurring flu
- A rapid heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Drug abuse or engaging in hard drugs
Stress is best managed properly to reduce long term and chronic effects, it is important to consider getting more rest and keeping your mind in a relaxed state more often as well as a healthy diet, you may also want to have a good support network to help maintain balance, such as friends, family or a spouse, it is also important to develop a strong sense of control in order to manage stressful situations better, also having adequate knowledge and effective preparation can help prevent and reduce stress. In some cases to avoid depression, loneliness and other forms of emotional stress, it is advisable to stay active, workout, network and meet people, take a walk or hang out with friends and loved ones, it helps relieve stress.
Managing stress early saves you more stress and improves your productivity.
Getting a good massage and Spa treatments also helps relax the body and mind, you can also engage your senses to help control stress, the major senses in the body are the senses of smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing. Listening to music, seeing a movie, smelling flowers or inhaling cool and lovable scents, having a favourite meal and getting a cuddle has also been proven to relieve stress for people, you can go with what sense work best for you as it may differ from person to person, for some people cuddling their favourite pets or stuffed animals is a way to get some stress of even during work.
It is important to always be conscious of our overall well being and watching our stress level is very key to living and staying healthy and productive.
Stay healthy always!