What is Stress?
Stress is a normal part of a person’s everyday life. Stress is the way our body responds to daily occurrences and events. It’s a mental, physical or emotional condition which causes temporary mental or bodily tension in our bodies. It can be internal or external. Internal stress comes from an illness or a medical procedure while external stress comes from psychological, environmental, and social situations. Stress can also be bad (with negative effects) or good (with positive effects). The following areas of our bodies can be affected by stress: brain and nerves, muscle and joints, heart, stomach, pancreas, intestines and the reproductive system.
What are the causes?
Stress can be caused by numerous factors. Here are the most common causes of everyday stress:
- Internal Stress – This is self-made stress. A person gets stressed because he worries about things that are out of his control or when he does stressful things on purpose like paying bills just a few minutes before the cut-off.
- Survival Stress – This is a common response to any type of danger. It triggers the “flight or fight” function of our bodies.
- Environmental Stress – This is when the things around you distract you or affect your bodily functions like too much noise, unnecessary pressure and unbearable traffic.
- Fatigue and Overwork – This is when a person works too much and overexerts himself for an extended period of time. Stress gradually builds up in months or years and stays for a long period of time.
Types of Stress
There are three types of stress:
- Acute Stress – This is the most common type of stress. It’s short-term and it’s caused by daily occurrences and demands. Surprisingly, it gives joy, excitement and thrill. One of the examples of acute stress is when riding a dangerous ride in a theme park.
- Episodic Acute Stress – This is basically acute stress that happens more frequently. One example of episodic acute stress is when a person aims to achieve an impossible goal and suffers numerous breakdowns and frustrations while achieving that goal.
- Chronic Stress – This is the most dangerous type of stress. It can have a devastating effect on a person’s mental, spiritual and physical health. It’s caused by long-term stressful events like miserable marriages, disastrous careers, years of identity crisis or traumatic events.
Managing stress is not easy. But with the help of a professional and willpower, anyone can learn how to handle stress. Here are some tips on how to overcome stress:
- Learn some relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
- Improve your personal productivity skills.
- Keep a journal or diary.
- Engage in physical activities or sports regularly.
- Discover and practice your conflict resolution skills.
- Have a positive outlook on life.
- Lead a balanced life.
- Express yourself more.
- Learn how to say no.
- Spend more time with the people you love.
- Eat healthy and avoid too much sugar or junk food.
- If things become unbearable, never hesitate to seek the help of a professional.