Stress is defined as the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear we experience when dealing with emotional or mental pressure. Just mentioning the word “stress” can paint a picture in your mind where hundreds of cars are stuck in traffic, continually honking their horns or take you to the time when you couldn't find your keys and were late for an important meeting.
In a stressful situation, the hypothalamus in the brain sends an emergency signal to the body to release stress hormones such as Cortisol. These stress hormones trigger a "fight or flight" response which prepares the body to stay and deal with a threat or run away. Heart rate and breathing become rapid, the pupils dilate, skin becomes pale, and muscles tense which causes trembling. This is a normal body reaction but if it occurs frequently, it can put you at serious risk.
Experts agree that constant stress can lead to various health issues. In addition, chronic stress can have long-term effects on the body because it disrupts almost all body systems.
Stress is part and parcel of human life and can push us to go beyond the usual to get the job done. However, chronic stress disrupts the body's overall well-being. Besides the mental and emotional damage, long-term stress also causes physical and social problems and has been found to be the underlying cause of several fatal diseases.
The hormones released in harsh circumstances affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems to a great extent. For example, when we are stressed, breathing becomes faster for quick distribution of oxygen-rich blood to the body. Therefore, a person already dealing with a severe breathing concern like asthma may find it challenging to deal with stress effectively.
Another thing that happens is stress-inducing hormones constrict blood vessels and divert excessive oxygen to the muscles, so they have enough strength to act when needed. Chronic stress raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder than necessary, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.
Although short-term stress can increase the production of the male hormone testosterone, it doesn't last long.
If stress is not managed, a man's testosterone levels may fall drastically, causing interference with sperm production, erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase the chances of infection in the reproductive organs.
In women, stress directly impacts menstruation and often leads to irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Subsequently, it can also cause heavy bleeding and painful abdominal cramps. Chronic stress can also increase menopause symptoms.
They say stress management is an art; indeed, it is. Managing stress levels is essential to living a healthy and prosperous life. It is next to impossible to avoid stress completely, but you can limit its impact on your mental and physical well-being. There are plenty of creative ways to manage stress before it starts to take a toll on your overall health.
Stress management is personal and individual. What works for one may not work for another. The best way of coping with stress is to understand the cause and derail it for a while.
Follow these five steps to nip your stress in the bud:
Understand who you are. Identify your emotions, strengths and weaknesses. Spend some time alone to reflect and get to know the real you!
Once you know where the problem lies, it becomes easier to find a solution. First, pay attention to your reactions to the actions of others. If their actions trigger negative responses in you, try avoiding them. Then, trace your negative patterns and replace them with healthier ones.
Everyone gets into the "low zone" at some point. The best way to return to normalcy quickly is to give yourself time to rest. Even a few minutes of downtime scattered a few times throughout the day can work wonders.
Investing time in your favorite things is an effective way of releasing stress. Whether it’s reading, painting, listening to music or exercising, pick your favorite hobbies and do what you love to do the most.
Water is truly a magic potion. It not only has the power to cure severe physical ailments but it can also soothe your mind. Try it right now! You will be amazed how a simple thing like drinking a glass of water can make your outlook brighter.
Modern life is stressful and can put you at significant risk for various medical conditions and disorders. Learning to manage stress is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Check healthproductsforyou for our vast catalog of products designed to help you on your way to health, wellness and stress management.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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