Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. It can be external, from the environment, psychological, or social situations or internal illness, or from a medical procedure.
It may be positive or negative:
Negative stress is called distress. It occurs when a person is unable to cope with a situation. It leads to physical and psychological illnesses. Positive stress is called eustress which enables employees to perform better.
There are further some types of stress:
It is the most common type of stress. It would be any stress you suffer from for a short period of time. And it is an immediate perceived threat, either physical, emotional, or psychological. It means symptoms develop quickly but do not usually last long. Examples include are traffic jams, an argument with your spouse, criticism from your boss.
Episodic acute stress
It is a type of stress in which it occurs in episodes. In this type, you may feel like you are always under pressure. People with type are often short-tempered, irritable, and anxious.
If this condition isn’t resolved and begins to increase or lasts for long periods of time, it becomes a chronic condition. Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period of time in which an individual perceives they have little or no control. Like you may have tension from a disease like chronic pain, loss of a job, or a spouse due to divorce.
Symptoms of Stress
Having stress, you may have the following symptoms like:
- Nausea and dizziness
- Acne and other skin problems
- Chronic diseases
- Memory problems
- Rapid heartbeat
- Digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea
- Loss of sex drive
- Depression or anxiety
- Anger, irritability, or restlessness
- Feeling unmotivated, or unfocused
Causes of Stress
Stress can be internal or self-generated, when you worry excessively about something that may or may not happen, or have irrational, pessimistic thoughts about life. Some typical causes are the following:
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Chronic illness
- Emotional problems like depression, anxiety, and anger
- Being the victim of a crime
- Experiencing familial stressors such as:
- An abusive relationship
- An unhappy marriage
- Prolonged divorce proceedings
- Child custody issues
- Living in poverty
- Being homeless
- Working in a dangerous profession
- Having a job, you hate
- Military deployment
Hormonal changes that cause stress
Hormonal imbalance causes a variety of complications such as mood swings, anxiety, and stress. Cortisol and adrenaline are such hormones.
Cortisol and adrenaline
As your body perceives stress, your adrenal glands release the cortisol and adrenaline hormone into your bloodstream. Cortisol causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. It’s your natural “flight or fight” response that has kept humans alive for thousands of years. Adrenaline can damage your blood vessels, increase your blood pressure, and elevate your risk of heart attacks or stroke. It can also result in anxiety, weight gain, headaches, and insomnia.
In order to manage your stress, first, you have to identify the things that cause this condition. Figure out which of these things can be avoided. Then, find ways to cope with those negative stressors that can’t be avoided.
When you exercise your body release endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that trigger a positive feeling in the body. Regular exercise can lift your mood and distract you from worries, allowing you to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed stress. Exercise such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing are particularly effective.
Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Exchange of kind words or a friendly look from another human being can help calm and soothe your nervous system Friends can also boost your happiness and reduce this condition. Being social and spending time with others helps you cope with this condition. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University found that people use their family and friends as a stress buffer, talking about their problems instead of seeking negative coping mechanisms like drinking alcohol, smoking, or doing drugs.
Relaxation techniques are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. These activities can reduce your everyday tension levels, activates the body’s relaxation response, and boost feelings of joy and happiness. They also increase your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure.
Eat a balanced diet
Our mood depends on our eating. Eating processed, sugary food, and refined carbohydrates can worsen symptoms of stress. While a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help you better cope with such problems.
Get enough sleep
Feeling tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. At the same time, a chronic condition can disrupt your sleep. You have to improve your sleep so you feel less stressed and more productive and emotionally balanced.
Talking about treatment, it is by therapy and medications.
It is one of the most beneficial ways to deal with stress. In CBT, people are taught to recognize and change negative thought patterns and apply different tools to help them improve their negative-self talk to be more positive.
A particular family of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications for this anti-anxiety, anti-stress purpose. Such as Paxil, Prozac, and Lexapro.