Most people suffer from stress at some point in their lives. Showing signs of stress does not mean that you are a weak person, just human like everybody else. Stress affects different people in different ways — your attitude and personality play a big part in how it affects you, and how you cope with it.
What is stress?
Stress is the description used for strain, pressure or force on a system. That system may be you. Stress can be the result of trivial annoyances like driving in heavy traffic, or a life-altering major crisis such as the death of a loved one.
Stress can be used both to refer to the event that is causing the disturbance or the effects of that event on your body. Usually when we say we are feeling stressed we are talking about the symptoms caused by our body's stress response.
How does stress affect your body?
At the first sign of alarm, certain sensory nerves in your body are stimulated and hormones are released that automatically trigger physical reactions to stress. Your heart rate increases to move blood to your muscles and brain, breathing rate increases, digestion slows down, saliva production stops (your mouth feels dry), perspiration increases, pupils widen, and you feel a rush of strength.
This is the ‘fight or flight’ phenomenon, which makes your body tense, alert, and ready for action. After this reaction to a real or perceived threat, your body stays on alert until you feel the danger has passed. When the stressor is gone, the brain signals an ‘all clear’, and your body gradually returns to normal.
While some short-term stress is thought to be good for you, pushing you to make that extra effort in a sporting event or game, chronic or long-term stress can be harmful to your health. This kind of stress is when you feel under constant, intense pressure, or you just cannot see a way out of a terrible situation.
What are the symptoms of stress?
Some of the symptoms and signs that may indicate high levels of ongoing stress include:
Also, researchers are continuing to find links between stress and many illnesses, such as:
How can I deal with stress?
Dealing with stress effectively can be complicated, but generally, to deal with stress, examine your life. What is causing the stress?
Make an action plan for concrete problems, address the issues, and change what you can. More abstract forms of stress are harder to handle, such as being overwhelmed by your responsibilities. One way to help deal with stress is to maintain a healthier mind and body. Try the following stress-buster tips.
How do I know if I need help?
You may think that you can, or should, deal with your problems yourself. But you should consider seeking help if:
There are qualified professionals who can help — speak to your doctor, who can refer you to the right person.
Source: My Health Guardian