Whenever we find ourselves out of our comfort zone, we feel stressed. And stresses can be both positive and negative. Even ordinary, day to day activities, when carried under time pressure, or work load pressure – give rise to stress. A well managed stress enables us achieve more, but an unmanaged stress can cause significant negative impact. Dealing with kids, fiancé, spouse, other relationships, health issues, financial matters, office work, and even travel can all cause stress. With rapidly changing culture and lifestyle, stress in our lives is also increasing at an alarming pace. All of us - adults, young-adults, and even kids get impacted by stress.
When we feel under stress, our body responds as though there is a danger or threat to manage. Our nervous system responds by releasing some hormones, which result in increased heart rate, quicker breathing, tightening of muscles, high blood pressure – all resulting in a burst of energy – up to a certain point. If the condition occurs too frequently, or lasts too long, it can lead to a physical and emotional breakdown, even weakening your immune system – making you prone to illnesses. Consult a doctor if you find yourself in such a situation.
Symptoms of stress
The most dangerous thing about stress is – it starts to build up – even without us realizing what’s happening. Here are some common warning signs and symptoms
- Tension, anxiety, worry
- High blood pressure, headache, stomach upset
- Loss of concentration or lack of motivation
- Dependency on intoxications like smoking, drinking, compulsive eating
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, and as if losing control
- Loss of sexual desire
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Clenched jaws and grinding teeth
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
Consequences of Long-Term Stress
Chronic stress can cause serious health problems, like:
- Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
- High blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, even heart attacks and stroke
- Obesity and other eating disorders
- Menstrual problems
- Skin and hair problems, such as psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss.
Stress management requires life style changes. Some measures that bring significant benefits are:
- Stress management
- Regular physical activity
- Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or getting a massage
- Keeping a sense of humor
- Socializing with family and friends
- Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.
God has gifted mankind with auto stress response mechanism. An important aspect of that mechanism is - human connection. Human to human connection invariably helps one get better and overcome stress. One is thereby trusting oneself to handle challenges of life, with a strong sense of not being alone.
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