We experience tension and pressure in our day-to-day activities at school, work, finance, and relationships. Experiencing strain is normal for the body because it was programmed to respond to pressure.
Stress is a reaction to challenges, pressures, or threats, but it only gets detrimental when it becomes uncontrollable or unmanageable. Every individual experiences tension in their lifetime and as a group of people, family, or community, but it varies in individuals. What triggers tension in A can be different in B and the responsiveness.
Types of stress
It can be positive or negative. Physical and mental health gets compromised by stress and interferes with pulse rate, respiration, hearing, and vision. It secretes hormone (cortisol), which sends a distress alert to the brain, followed by tensed muscles and elevated pulses. The response is otherwise called a “fight-or-flight” response. It is classified into two types.
- Acute stress is a mild response that is protective and experienced daily. It lasts for a short period (minutes, hours, and a week) but can be intense. It helps to assess situations. Examples are actions you take for the future, sudden stops from stepping on nails, and many more. It is common when you try out something new.
- Chronic stress is the opposite of acute. It stays for a very long period- weeks and months, usually after a lot of tension. It is a detrimental response associated with other health issues; diabetes, obesity, heart disease, depression, skin diseases, and mental disorders. This type of tension wears off the body. It can affect all the systems in your body, leaving you with life-threatening signs and symptoms, but you should talk to your doctor.
Females are more programmed to handle or deal with pressure than males. Under a lot of pressure, men are prone to experience mental illnesses, which eventually lead to disability. It is a sign of a feedback mechanism in the body.
Signs and symptoms of stress.
Signs and symptoms vary in individuals, which is why you must speak with your doctor. It affects physical, psychological, and behavioral well-being.
These signs and symptoms include depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, forgetfulness and difficulty in concentration, nervousness, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue, aches and pains, sexual issues, jaw and muscle stiffness, disturbed sleeping pattern, alcoholism, drug addiction, weight disorder, high blood pressure, tensed muscle, weak immune system, colds and infections, poor judgment, angina, mood disorder, dizziness, palpitation, gambling, dry mouth, disturbed appetite, panic attack, sadness, smoking, and low self-esteem.
NOTE: they are signs and symptoms of chronic stress.
Effects of stress
It disrupts the body, affects your well-being, and reduces your quality of life. Considering the whole composition of health, it is a detrimental factor.
- Mental disorder– the brain senses stress and secretes adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are responsible for heartbeats, blood flow, and many other things, but under chronic type, the brain secretes excess hormones, which develop into anxiety, depression, personality, and many more.
- Cardiovascular disease– is the most common effect. The heart gets excited under chronic tension and tampers with the blood vessels, leading to heart disorders like high blood pressure, strokes, arrhythmia, and heartburn.
- Digestive disorder– stress stimulates blood sugar production in the liver to provide energy. Prolonged stress causes excessive blood sugar, which increases your chances of developing diabetes II and acid reflux. Also, it interferes with the movement of food leading to digestive illnesses such as irritable colon, GERD, gastritis, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, and constipation.
- Skin and hair problems like acne and hair loss.
- Reproductive Illness– in men, acute stress supports the production of the male sex hormone; testosterone, but the reverse is the case under a chronic strain. It leads to erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, loss of sexual drive, and infections of the prostate and colon. In women, it interferes with a period, making it painful and irregular, and menopause sets in very early.
- Muscle incapability– muscles get excited under stress and are expected to relax after any excitation, but under chronic tension, it fails to retain their state. This causes muscle weakness, wasting, and pain. It is related to headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, and body aches.
- Impaired immune system– chronic stress keeps the immune system activated, which is a good response Long period of distress weakens the immunity against foreign invaders, which leads to infections.
Stress management is an effective technique and method used to reduce tension and increase bodily functions. It involves step-by-step plans that balance your work, home, relationship, finance, and fun life. As you know, chronic stress is the high demand placed on you, which eventually wears off your body. Stress management helps to build endurance and resilience to manage tension and live a happy and healthy life.
Recognize the sources or causes of your stress
Identifying the cause of the response is usually not an easy job. Chronic stress is a detrimental type that interferes with feelings, emotions, and actions, which makes it more complicated. Close observation and reading on habits and attitudes keep track of the triggers. After identifying the sources, choose to take full responsibility for your stress. It will help cut and reduce them deliberately.
Exercise is the least you could think of during stress, but I’d like to let you know that it is an effective tension reliever. Start with the little activities you enjoy and stay consistent before you move to complex ones. The little workout does add up. It helps to release endorphins responsible for energetic feelings. For instance, a 20 minutes walk down the street or dancing to some music.
Live a healthy lifestyle
It is a deliberate decision to reduce pressures and boost well-being. There are a lot of ways in which you can embrace a healthy lifestyle:
- Eat healthy meals; your breakfast is necessary. So, keep your plate balanced and nutritious.
- Limit your caffeine consumption. Excess caffeine causes mood disorders.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking, as they lead to dependency and medical conditions like obesity and diabetes.
- Stop self-medicating drugs and see your doctor often.
- Sleep regularly. It calms the whole body.
Relate with friends and family
Connecting with people makes you feel comfortable and helps your emotional and mental health. It makes you feel calm. You must know that their presence might not totally remove the stressor, but it keeps you relieved of tension- anxiety, and depression. Keep a good relationship with others at work, at home, or community.
Do what gives you comfort
“Work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is the saying for workaholics. Catching fun helps to build and nurture your physical and mental health. Create time for relaxation and regain more energy for the day. Other relaxation practices are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. They fight off strain and relax the body and mind.
The factor that contributes to productivity at home, work, or in other things is good management. Poor management leads to pressure and challenges. Working for too long with no rest hinders you from doing healthy things. It prevents you from exercising, eating something nutritious, or even getting a nap.
Learn to prioritize your task, delegate responsibilities to others, and schedule smartly according to your capacity. A step-by-step approach to your activities quickens your mind and makes you responsible.
In conclusion, stress cannot be avoided, it is part of what keeps you moving and functioning daily, but it is detrimental when it stays for a long time. It affects productivity and well-being. Seek medical attention when it is beyond your limit, and try management techniques. Exercising, having a good meal, sleeping, and having regular check-ups are effective ways to keep us healthy. Dealing with tension requires effort and decisions, so what you do today will always tell you. Your health should be your priority. Stay safe and stay healthy.
Stress and your health FAQs
What are the types of stress?
It is classified into two types- acute and chronic according to its severity. Acute is a normal response to pressure only for a short duration, while prolonged tension with chronic symptoms is termed chronic stress. Also, chronic tension is linked with other medical conditions.
What is stress management?
It is a series of techniques employed to control pressure and strains. It can be referred to as the prevention and treatment of stress response. They include identifying the cause, a healthy lifestyle, working smartly, talking to people that make you feel safe, and exercising often.
What are the causes of stress?
It is triggered by danger or threat, usually caused by pressure from work, home, people, and our daily endeavors.
What are the signs and symptoms of stress?
Dizziness, palpitation, anxiety, depression, diarrhea, vision and hearing defects, headaches, body aches, drug addiction, nervousness, chest pain, loss of appetite, insomnia, and low self-esteem are the common signs and symptoms.
What are the effects of stress?
It deteriorates the body’s systems. It causes diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, skin and hair diseases, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, mental illnesses such as personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many more.