Everyone like adults, teens, and even children, experiences stress. Stress is primarily a physical response. It is extremely difficult to define because it is so different for each individual, something that stresses out one individual may excite another individual so there is a large variation. Stress is a natural human response to pressure when faced with challenging and sometimes dangerous situations.
Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks and prevent you from getting hurt. Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress. But, we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without ill consequences.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF STRESS:
The most common symptoms of stress are insomnia, fatigue, and headaches are just a few symptoms people may experience when stressed. Most of us recognize stress when we feel it, that overwhelmed state of mind which make it hard to think, perform, and even breathe.
There are four types of symptoms of stress;
- Physical symptoms: It includes headache, muscle tension, chest pain, stomach pain, back pain, indigestion.
- Mental symptoms: It includes anxiety, trouble thinking clearly, forgetfulness, frustration, trouble making decisions, sleeping poorly, short temper, nervousness.
- Behavioural symptoms: It includes overeating, isolation from others, using a cigarette, habits like nail-biting.
- Emotional symptoms: It includes loss of confidence, irritability, depression, apathy, apprehension.
STRESS AFFECT HEALTH:
Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts, your feelings and your behaviour. Stress that is left unchecked can contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity and diabetes. Stress which is related to illness is; Depression, Sleeping problems, Chronic pain, Anxiety.
Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body’s internal balance or equilibrium, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Emotional problems can also result from distress.
An extreme reaction to stress is a panic attack. A panic attack is a sudden, intense fear or anxiety that may make you feel short of breath, dizzy, or make your heart pound. People who have panic attacks may feel out of control, like they are having a heart attack, or are about to die. Panic attacks may happen with no clear cause, but they can be brought on by living with high levels of stress for a long time. Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.
CAUSES OF STRESS:
The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. Stress can also be internal or self-generated, when we worry excessively about something that may or may not happen, or have irrational, pessimistic thoughts about life. A lot of things can cause stress.
Health: Especially if we have a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.
Family: Having a child, teen, or another family member who is under stress, or being a caregiver to a family member who is elderly or who has health problems.
Emotional problems: Such as anger we can’t express, depression, grief, guilt, or low self-esteem.
Financial situation: Not having enough money to cover our expenses, feeling lonely, or facing discrimination based on our race, gender, age, or sexual orientation can add stress to our life.
Job: Being unhappy with our work or finding our job too demanding can lead to chronic stress. Losing our job or not being able to find work can also add to our stress level.
Feeling emotional and nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress:
- Take care of yourself:
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out.
- Talk to others: Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counsellor, doctor, or pastor.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol: These may seem to help, but they can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.
- Take a break: If news events are causing your stress, take a break from listening or watching the news.
- Recognize when you need more help: If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counsellor.
Most people think of when they hear the word “stress” is actually distress. Distress is a negative emotion that most people generally try to avoid, but there is also a good kind of stress called eustress.
How to cope with the stress during COVID-19?
- It’s normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Talking to people you trust can help, get in touch with your loved ones and connect with them by phone or video chat.
- Limit your stress and fear by reducing how much time you spend watching or reading the news or scrolling through social media, especially when you feel it’s upsetting information.
- Do things you did in the past to help manages challenges and stress. Know that you have to developed skills to manage your emotions and use them during this time too.
- Stay at home, stay healthy by eating well. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and having good social contact with loved ones by phone or video chat.
- Deal with your emotions in a healthy way. If you do start feeling overwhelmed then don’t hesitate to talk to a counsellor or therapist.
- Managing personal stress has been an engrossing topic which implies on our life.
- Here we parted the stressors into time, encounter, situational and anticipatory.
- Resilience is an essential character to cope with adverse events of stress.
- Temporary stress reduction programs must be pursued to lead a healthy life.
Submitted by “Rimsha Bilal”