What is stress?
Stress is a feeling which everyone can experience. It is a feeling of emotional tension, which makes a person feel irritated or angry. Stress has a direct relation with the body’s ability to react in a demanding situation.
The symptoms of stress may feel like
- Easy agitation
- Constant moodiness and
- Feeling overwhelmed.
If a person is stressed, he may find it difficult to relax. A person with stress would find it difficult to cope with mental pressure.
What are the types of stress?
Stress may be classified into two types.
- Acute stress
- Chronic stress
We all have experienced the feeling of stress. Acute stress can occur to anyone. It relates to the events or deadlines that are about to happen shortly. This stress can be helpful at times. It keeps us motivated and manages our time efficiently.
People react to acute stress in different ways. Only if the person is feeling stressed too often or if he is feeling stressed without any reason, he should consider visiting a medical professional.
The other type of stress is chronic stress, which occurs to a person if he is exposed to stressful situations over a long period. If a person has chronic stress, he may feel depressed, he would have anxiety and he would exhibit other symptoms of stress.
Can we measure stress?
Stress cannot be measured with any scale. Stress is intangible, meaning it cannot be touched, it can only be felt. As feelings are subjective to every individual, stress is also subjective. Only the person who has stress can tell us how uncomfortable he feels. Mild stress can be managed by some and it can feel like a burden to many.
Only the symptoms caused by stress can be evaluated and treated.
What does stress do to our bodies?
Our bodies are designed to feel stress and react to it. Stress can be positive or negative. Positive stress is called eustress. This type of stress would help us remain motivated.
The other type of stress is called distress or bad stress.
This negative type of stress can affect our health. It can cause physical symptoms like:
- Upset gut health
- Stress ulcers
- Higher blood pressure
- Pain in the chest and
- Sleeping trouble.
- Muscle tensions
- Weakening of the immune system
Usually, to cope up with chronic stress, people involve themselves in unhealthy behavior like smoking, drinking, or using drugs. They think that doing these would help them relieve stress. In turn, it only keeps them in a stressed state of mind for a longer time.
Understanding the concept of stress management
Stress management is an umbrella term for the various techniques followed to control the stress level of an individual. Stress management means a person making changes in his lifestyle to reduce the stress levels by practicing self-care and managing his emotions in a better way.
Is practicing stress management important?
Practicing stress management has a lot of benefits.
The benefits include
- Reducing high heart rate
- Lowering the blood pressure
- Improve gut health
- Reducing muscle tensions
- Reducing the production of the anxiety hormone
- Better sleep
- Build a better immune system
How we can handle stress and anxiety?
It is easy for people to get stressed or overwhelmed these days with busy schedules. Managing stress can be a task. It takes some practice to manage stress effectively. Some of the most effective ways to manage stress are:
Working out regularly is one of the most effective ways to relax our minds. Working out would improve our mood and will keep us happy. Working out with moderate intensity regularly would improve both physical health and mental health also reducing the stress levels.
Few breathing techniques like taking a few deep breaths can instantly relieve pressure. Taking in a slow deep breath and exhaling would ease the pressure and reduce the stress level.
Diet plays an important role in health. Eating a balanced diet would make us feel better in general. It is important to include vegetables, fruits, lean protein, fats, and green leafy vegetables in our diet. Consuming high processed food, sodas, and baked items may have an adverse effect on the body.
- Adapting a calm mindset
A busy life is a new common. We need to find out a way to slow things down. Slowing things down means adapting to a mindset that would learn to do things without feeling pressured. Avoiding unwanted stressful situations would have a great impact in reducing the stress level.
Taking breaks whenever required is equally important as working productively. Taking a break will make us feel refreshed and work more productively. Taking breaks will prevent or reduce mental burnouts.
Doing things, we enjoy during the break is important. Having a hobby that makes us feel good will help us relieve stress. The hobbies may be any activity like playing a sport, reading a book, listening to music or even gardening.
Talk therapy not necessarily means going to a medical professional and telling him how stressful we feel in our lives. Taking can be with anyone who we are comfortable with. Talking to them about our problems would help in reducing the stress level.
Stop trying to do things perfectly
Being a perfectionist or expecting things to be perfect is putting additional pressure on oneself which is very unwanted. Accepting the fact that we cannot be perfect is good for oneself as it eases the pressure of one’s shoulder trying to do things perfectly.
Finding the triggers.
Finding the triggers or the causes of our stress should be eliminated. By writing down the stressful situations we can identify a pattern of behavior or situation that triggers our stress. We can then work on our emotions and the situation in a better way.
Having some time for ourselves.
In the busy world, a person needs to find time for themselves. Only in those moments of silence, a person would be able to address his thoughts and reduce his stress level by being calm.
These are some of the simple techniques which a college student or a working professional or even an elderly person could follow.
We all need to understand that stress is common and it may arise in a college or a workplace or it may even arise during a normal conversation.
Stress is important to keep us motivated. Having too much stress is not good for health. By practicing mindfulness and other techniques to reduce stress, anyone can lead a stress-free life and improve overall work-life balance.