Many people deal with stress almost everyday.Some factors that may contribute to stress includes social experiences and financial matters, medical problems, lack of social support, and family problems. The sources of stress can be internal or external. Social and financial problems are common triggers of prolong stress leading to medical problem if left uncontrolled.
Anything that provoke stress are called stressors. Our body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. It signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, putting our muscles on alert. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase our body's energy. And perspiration is produced to cool our body. All of these physical changes prepare us to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. Working properly, our body's stress response enhances our ability to perform well under pressure. But the stress response can cause problem when it overreacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly. This results in harmful effects on our body.
It is important to know that everyone reacts to stress differently and can withstand different levels of stress. Only you can assess your level of tolerance to stressful situations.
Stress usually first affects the inner emotions and hence our feelings. These emotional states can then begin to affect a person's outward appearance. As the stress level increases, or if it lasts over a longer period of time, a person may begin to feel more severe emotional or physical effects. In most cases, these symptoms are very minor and don't last very long. If they become more severe or increase in frequency and severity, you may need to seek medical help. Individuals suffering from stress overload will likely display one or more of the following signs listed below.
Depression or Sadness
Drinking too much, smoking, overeating, or doing drugs
Problem falling asleep
Allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
Physical symptoms, such as stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
Irritability and moodiness
A feeling of being constantly pressured, hassled, and hurried
Anxiety or panic attacks
The most helpful method for us to deal with stress is to learn how to manage the stress that comes along with any new challenge, good or bad. Here are some ways to keep stress under control:
Solve your problems, break problems into manageable and achievable parts.
Share your thoughts with others, build strong relationships and develop a support system
Be positive in your thinking and outlook
Treat your body well, exercise regularly and fun
Learn to manage time and anger
Learn to relax (breathing exercise, listen to soothing music, etc)
Rest well and have sufficient sleep
Be realistic, accept that no one is perfect and set appropriate goals / limits for yourself
Take control of your busy schedule
You should call your doctor when you are unable to identify the source of your stress or anxiety and if the condition continues or comes and goes. You should immediately seek help should you have any of the following symptoms:
Headaches unlike your usual headaches
Fluttering or rapid heart beats
Chest pain or discomfort
Thoughts about harming others
Thoughts about harming yourself
Any other condition that you feel may result in serious harm if not treated immediately.