In today’s fast-paced world, chronic stress is common, but your mind and body can pay a high price. Learn to recognize overwhelming stress and what you can do about it. Hence, stress management becomes a prerequisite for living a healthy life.
Stress is a lifestyle factor, and to a certain extent, a fact of life. Each of us also has a certain level of anxiety. On the other hand, chronic anxiety disorders are medically diagnosed conditions, which can be impacted by stress
Very rightly said,
It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.Hans Selye
What Is Stress?
Stress is the body’s way of responding to a demand or threat of any kind. When you sense danger, whether it’s real or imagined – the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid automatic process known as the “fight – or – flight” reaction or the “stress response”. Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges.
“Stress is caused by being “here,” but wanting to be “there.”Eckhart Tolle
Health Problems Caused By Stress
1. Depression And Anxiety
Stress can increase your anxiety and also get converted into depression as it rewires your brain. Stress inflicts your positive attitude, making you worry more. It results in anxiety and overwhelms you. It hinders your focus and concentration. You will find many ways to deal with depression; so, don’t let it engulf you.
2. Pain Of Any Kind
Generally, you will feel a headache because of stress. There may be body ache of any kind and can change from time to time.
3. Sleep Problems
As your mind is constantly worried and thinking and results in overloaded thoughts disturb your sleep, which whether leads to sleep apnea (a sleeping disorder).
4. Autoimmune Diseases
Stress can lead to diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, etc.
5. Digestive Problems
Stress can even cause loose motions or constipation.
6. Skin Conditions
Generally it can cause eczema, acne on face, as skin disorders take their roots from or place their roots in the psyche.
7. Heart Disease
Studies suggest that the high levels of cortisol from long-term stress can increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure. These are common risk factors for heart disease.
8. Weight Problems
Stress may elevate cortisol levels that stimulate your appetite, with the end result being weight gain or difficulty losing unwanted pounds. Cortisol not only promotes weight gain, but it can also affect where you on weight.
9. Reproductive Issues
Scientists know that stress boosts levels of stress hormones – glucocorticiods such as cortisol – that inhibit the body’s main sex hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, and subsequently suppresses sperm count, ovulation, and sexual activity.
10. Thinking And Memory Problems
Stress can cause acute and chronic changes in certain brain areas which can cause long-term damage. Over-secretion of stress hormones most frequently impairs long-delayed recall memory but can enhance short-term, immediate recall memory as hampers emotional memory.
11. Hypertension And Diabetes Mellitus
Your body produces a surge of hormones when you are in stress, which temporarily increases your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. Then it results in hypertension.
Cortisol increases the amount of sugar in our blood which leads to conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, which is one of the lesser-known causes of Diabetes.
Sign And Symptoms Of Stress
The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. The different types of symptoms of stress are as follows :
1. Cognitive Symptoms
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgement
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
2. Emotional Symptoms
- Increasing in or loss of appetite
- Depression or general u happiness
- Agitation and anxiety
- Moodiness, irritability or anger
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Loneliness and isolation
- Other mental or emotional health problems
3. Physical Symptoms
- Trembling and shaking
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhoea and Constipation
- Nausea and dizziness
- Chest pain, rapid heart rate
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds and flu
- Cold and sweaty palms
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Weight gain or LOSS
4. Behavioral Symptoms
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from others
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- Nervous habits (E.g. nail biting, pacing)
Physical and mental stress can disturb the blood sugar levels. It also affects the blood pressure.
Stress can cause hypertension through repeated BP elevations as well as by stimulation of the nervous system to produce large amounts of vasoconstricting hormones that increase BP.
Overall, studies show that stress does not directly cause hypertension but can have an effect on BP is multiplied. A non pharmacological treatments to manage Stress have been found effective in reducing BP & development of HTN. Your reaction to stress may affect your BP, as hormones temporarily increase your heart beat faster & your blood vessels to narrow.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.William Jones
Ways To Manage Stress
Stress management is very important if you wish to tackle the unwanted negativity in your life. Hence, there are different ways to manage it.
- Think positive
- Engage yourself in pleasurable works/hobbies
- Minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night is essential for overall health and wellness
- A balanced healthy diet is important like fruits, whole grains, and fish in your diet
- Need to manage your professional and personal life and give quality and sufficient time to both helps in managing stress
- Meditation is important to manage stress
- Regular exercise can drain off ongoing stress and keep things under control.
Relaxation Techniques To Combat Stress
- Read a good book.
- Watch your favorite film.
- Listen to your favorite music, motivational recordings.
- Burn some aromatherapy oils, scented candles.
- Laughter is the best medicine it is rightly said: Remember to laugh, laugh aloud at a joke, watch a funny movie.
- Yoga is the oldest self-development technique for stress relief and overall health.
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.John DE Paola
So, don’t worry; be happy and laugh all the time. Be stress free.