Life is tough, hard even. Along with trying to survive with its hustle, bustle and it’s complexities, comes the result- STRESS. Finding a way to cope and manage stress embodies the balance in life itself.
So, what is STRESS? It is a condition of mental or emotional pressure stemming from events that are often beyond what our mind or body can take.
Parts of our life can either help us learn and grow or can cause us significant problems. If we don’t act in time, stress can create or worsen health problems. Every part of the human body responds to stress- the heart, brain, stomach, lungs- all of them. Stress causes the release of a handful of hormones that make bodily functions difficult.
Stress Can Either Be Positive or Negative
Stress is a part of life in which powers from the inside or outside world affect the individual, either physically or emotionally. We respond to stress differently, and we will look at that in a minute, but because of the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience.
I am concerned about the negative effects.
Stress can mask itself as any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Sleep disturbance
- Muscle ache and tension
- Reduced energy or enthusiasm
- Mood changes: Irritability or sadness. Aches and Pains
- Becoming Easily Agitated
- Chest Pain
- Difficulty Relaxing
- Feeling Frustrated
- Feeling Like You Are Losing Control
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Grinding Teeth
- Loss of Sexual Desire.
I am sure you know that none of the above for sure means there is an elevated stress level since all of these symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions, but these are pointers.
People under stress have a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviours, such as excessive use or abuse of alcohol and drugs, cigarette smoking, and making poor exercise and nutritional choices.
So, let us discuss what you all want to know:
How Do I Manage Stress or Stressful Situations?
- Stress can be managed in so many ways but for me, one of the most important is EXERCISE. It helps to reduce the production of stress hormones and keeps your body and mind fresh.
- Meditation and other relaxation techniques are helpful, structured timeouts, asking for help and support from friends and family including learning new coping strategies to create predictability in our lives.
- Eat Healthily
- Sleep Well
- Reduce Alcohol intake and stop smoking
- Take time to relax. Learn to find a balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to yourself, this can really reduce stress levels.
- Always try to make the connection between feeling tired or ill and the pressures you are faced with and look out for physical warnings such as tense muscles, over-tiredness, headaches or migraines.
- Could you be taking on too much? Are there things you are doing which could be handed over to someone else?
- Can you do things in a more leisurely way?
Look after yourself. You are important.