For many just thinking about the word “STRESS” may be enough to set your nerves on edge. Everyone feels stressed at times. Some people perform better when in stressful situations and some may more effectively recover from stressful events than others. It’s important to know your limits when it comes to stress especially, which situation triggers greater stress and how to avoid and recognize these situations/triggers.
The Stress of Change
Stress can be defined as the brain’s response to specific demands. Many things can trigger a stress response, including change.
• Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived.
• They may be recurring, short-term, or long-term and may include things like commuting to and from school or work every day, traveling for a yearly vacation, or
moving to another home.
• Changes can be mild and relatively harmless, such as winning a race, watching a scary movie, or riding a rollercoaster.
• Some changes are major, such as marriage or divorce, serious illness, or a car accident.
• Other changes are extreme, such as exposure to violence, and can lead to traumatic stress reactions.
Of all the types of stress, changes in health from continued routine stress may be hardest to notice at first. Because the source of stress tends to be more constant than in cases of acute or traumatic stress, the body gets no clear signal to return to normal functioning. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses.
How does stress affect the body?
Not all stress is bad. In the case of dangerous situations, the chemicals and hormones released during such stressful times, prepares us to face a threat or flee to safety. In less threatening situations like exams or job interviews, stress may facilitate one to focus ones attention, cutting out many distractions.
When faced with dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity; all functions are geared for survival. In the short term, it can even boost the immune system.
However, with chronic stress, the same chemicals that are life saving in short bursts can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival. Your immunity is lowered and your digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems stop working normally. Once the threat has passed, other body systems act to restore normal functioning.
Problems occur if the stress response goes on too long, such as when the source of stress is constant, or more commonly if the stress response continues after the danger has subsided.
Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, these strategies will help you cope:
Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and
look for a pattern.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you.
Seek professional help. There are many health professionals that are able to facilitate you through tough times. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional
Information was sourced from various sources please find below to some links:
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA