Stress is the outcome of the modern materialistic competitive and ambitious world. it has become an epidemic that has engulfed the entire world in its tentacles. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress has been classified as the health epidemic of the 21st century.
What stress actually is?
Stress is the feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or situation that makes one feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge. Stress can be positive in events when it helps you to meet a deadline or keeps you out of life danger. But when stress levels last for a long time it is dangerous. Stress is of two types:
- Acute stress: this is short-term stress it helps you to manage dangerous situations. all people have a cute dress at one time and now.
- Chronic stress: It lasts for a longer period of time. You become so used to it that you don’t even realize it. this may lead to long-term health issues.
Physical signs of stress
The hormones that our bodies produce to respond to stressful situations can have many physical effects. These effects might include:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Panic attacks
- Blurred eyesight or sore eyes
- Sleep problems
- Muscle aches and headaches
- Chest pains and high blood pressure
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Feeling sick, dizzy or fainting
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Developing rashes or itchy skin
- Changes to your period or menstrual cycle
- Existing physical health problems getting worse
Impact of stress
Our body reacts to stress by releasing hormones these hormones make your brain more alert and increase your pulse rate. When you have acute stress, your body stays alerting you even though there is no danger leading to health-related problems such as:
- High Blood Pressure
You might also feel the increase in conditions such as:
- Skin issues like acne or eczema
- Menstrual problems
- Conjugal problems
- Grind your teeth or clench your jaw
- Experience sexual problems, such as losing interest in sex or being unable to enjoy having sex
- Eat too much or too little
- Smoke, use recreational drugs, or drink alcohol more than you usually would
- Restless, like you, can’t sit still
- Cry or feel tearful
- Spend or shop too much
- Not exercise as much as you usually would, or exercise too much
- Withdraw from people around you
If you have any of these problems chronic stress can make your condition worse.
In some cases, stress may cause more severe or long-term physical health problems. These might include:
- Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (‘broken heart syndrome). This can feel similar to a heart attack.
- Secondary amenorrhoea. This is when you don’t get your period for three months or more.
How is stress diagnosed?
Stress is subjective — not measurable with tests. Only the person experiencing it can determine whether it’s present and how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
One can also go for a stress hormone test called serum Cortisol (stress hormone) levels to check for any abnormalities. The lab may also take urine samples to check cortisol levels in the urine as well.
Causes of stress are numerous, examples include –
- Death of a loved one
- Change in life situation: marriage, first child, graduation, first job
- Financial problems
- Moving to a new house/change of location
- Emotional Anxiety
- Grief, guilt, anger, and low self-esteem
What are some ways to prevent stress?
Many daily strategies can help you keep stress at bay:
- Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
- Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
- Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
- Accept that you can’t control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
- Learn to say “no” to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member, or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesn’t become overwhelming.
- Stay away from excessive usage of gadgets and stress stimulators.
Give yourself permission to take a break from the news, social media, or even certain friends. Constantly exposing ourselves to negative information, images and rhetoric maintain our stress at unhealthy levels.
Disclaimer – The tips given in this article are for informational purposes only. It does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your dietitian and medical health practitioner before making any changes to your diet or before taking any supplements/medications.
Note – Storizen does not endorse any products recommended in this article. The view expressed is solely the author’s opinion about the subject.