We all stress out from time to time. There might be various reasons for that. For instance, approaching deadline at work, complicated relationship or overwhelming daily routine.
No doubt, stress can negatively impact person’s body. Some of the negative effects of stress could be hair loss, slow metabolism and hormonal dis-balance, for example. Moreover, because of stress, you may feel like you cannot lose extra weight even though you are on a strict diet and exercising all the time. Stress increases cortisol hormone which influences our memory, heart rate and also blood pressure.
Some people even die from stress. A study published in 2006 revealed that most of the people die from heart attacks Monday mornings. And the least people have heart attacks during weekends, when they are relaxed and less stressed.
However, stress is not always harmful. In fact, stress can be good and can help people to take an action in some situations. Let’s find out what it really is.
What is Stress?
Stress is a response of a body to any kind of changes that are happening around you. These responses can be physical, mental or emotional. Stress is a feeling of physical, mental or emotional tension.
When we are stressed, our bodies release a variety of chemicals into our blood, in order to prepare us for physical action. As a result, at the moment of danger, blood can change its course from unnecessary functions of the body. Thus, we may have more energy and strength that could help us in case of physical threat.
As stated above, stress could be related to our emotions. The response of our bodies to both physical and emotional anxiety is the same. In other words, blood flow is restricted to those parts of our body, that have unnecessary functions to overcome stress.
In short, stress shuts down the functions of our bodies that are not responsible for our survival. Hence, the stress caused by emotional events reduces functionality of our brains. As a consequence, we may be limited to think clearly when we are stressed.
What Causes Stress?
There is no universal cause of stress. We all have different psychological state, and we perceive situations differently. Thus, the situation that may cause one person to be stressed, does not necessarily will have the same effect on other person.
However, when people have the sense of inability to manage pressure that is put on them, they feel stressed.
Stress can be caused by internal or external factors.
Internal Factors that cause stress
Internal factors that cause stress are those that make us worry about different things. For instance, we might read or watch negative news on media such as shooting at schools, threat of war between countries or natural disasters that causing death. We fear that those things may happen to us. That is why we feel anxious and stressed.
Another most common cause of stress is poor time management. If we put everything to the last minute, and start working on assignments a day before the deadline, we put ourselves under pressure. The uncertainty of successful completion of the task cause us a lot of stress.
In short, the way we perceive situations and events can cause an internal stress. For example, we may drop our phone and break it. The situation can be perceived differently. One may see it as a reason of getting a new phone. The other person may feel obnoxious about himself for being clumsy.
Another internal reason of stress is unrealistic expectations. As a human being, we tend to make mistakes. As a result of those mistakes we learn and improve. Sometimes, people expect everything to go right. If they fail in achieving a certain goal, they feel stressed.
Moreover, being pessimistic, being inflexible to adapt to changes in our life, comparing ourselves to others may be the reason of internal factors of stress.
External Factors that cause stress
Apart from internal factors, external events around us may be the reason of stress.
For instance, one of the common external factor is work. When the work is overwhelming, when it requires you to stay at the office additional hours, or poor management of the work flow may be obnoxious. Moreover, if the working conditions are harmful to your health, the desire to go to work vanishes, and of course it may be stressful. Additionally, if we do not enjoy what we do for our living, we have to force ourselves to go to work every day. All of this could be stressful.
Other external factors of stress are death of a close person, difficulties in a relationship, losing a job, getting married, being pregnant, divorce, buying a new house or moving to a new one.
How Does Stress Affect Health?
We have already stated several problems that may occur because of stress such as hair loss and hormonal problems. Apart from that, if anxiety continues for a long time, it may have other negative effects on our health.
As mentioned above, when we feel stressed, the blood flow in our body changes. Long lasting anxiousness keeps blood flow from going back to normal. As a result, we may have headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep deprivation, and also sexual dysfunction.
Sometimes, in order to deal with stress, people consume alcohol, drugs, cigarettes. Although, frequent use of these harmful substances causes even more health issues.
How to Overcome Stress?
In order to overcome stress, it is important to identify the factors that cause it. Once the reasons are identified, actions can be taken.
1. Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle greatly reduces the negative impacts of stress. Healthy lifestyle means to do regular exercises, have a well-balanced diet, get enough rest and sleep.
Daily routine of jogging and yoga activities help to manage anxiousness.
2. Time Management
As stated above, poor time management is one of the most common reasons why people feel stressed. By managing our time effectively, we may avoid anxiousness.
By planning our monthly, weekly and daily work flow, we may ensure to complete the assignments on time. Although, one important point that needs to be mentioned here is that, once the plan is ready, we must follow it.
Laughter is known to be one of the best medicine. Watching a comedy TV Show or a movie, or reading a humorous book can relieve stress.
4. Interaction with Others
Sometimes, we want to be alone and deal with our problems by ourselves. However, participating in activities that involve other people may be really helpful to overcome anxiety.
During our interactions with people we may have fun and forget about the reasons that are making us obnoxious.
5. Sharing Feelings with Other People
By talking to other people about the problems that are torturing us, we may clear out confusions and try to concentrate on problems. Moreover, our friends or family members can provide us a solution to fight the anxiousness.
Another way of dealing with stress is finding a good hobby. By being involved in an interesting and exciting hobby, we may prevent ourselves from negative effects of anxiety.
7. Positive Attitude
When we feel anxiety, we usually pay attention to negative sides of the events. However it is important to seek for positive moments in life. Positive things in our life help us improve our mood and gain positive energy.
8. Talking to a Doctor
Taking advice from an experienced psychologist is always a good option. Psychologist can identify the initial cause of the anxiety and give a professional advice on how to overcome your problem.