There is no denying the fact that it is important to effectively manage stress for ensuring overall mental and physical health. Too much of stress over a long period of time could lead to distressing situations.
Stress is nothing but our body’s normal response which calls for mental, physical and emotional adjustment against such unforeseen happenings. Stress is very much a part of our normal life.
There are a number of things that could be happening around us that could lead to building up of stress almost all the time.
A lot of things done by us also contribute to stress. While some stress can be good and beneficial there are others that could be harmful.
Normal stress helps us to remain active, motivated and in a state of readiness to avoid dangers. However, as mentioned above when stress crosses the threshold limit it could make us sick both physically and mentally.
Let us over the next few lines try and understand how stress affects health:
Whenever our body is faced with a stressful situation, it automatically responds to it with a built in stress response mechanism. This mechanism causes certain physiological changes which helps the body to combat these situations of stress. This response is known as “fight or flight response”. It means that either body gets ready to fight the stress or finds out ways and means to escape and run away from such situations.
- However, when a person has stress that is long drawn then such responses also become chronic which could lead a lot of physical and emotional problems and wear and tear. Stress situations that does not come with normal relief could lead to what is called as ‘distress’. This is nothing but a negative reaction to stress. Distress could be highly damaging to the overall balance and equilibrium of the body.
- Such situations could manifest itself by way of upset stomach, headaches, high blood pressure levels, sexual malfunctioning, pain in the chest and many other such symptoms. It could lead to panic attacks and chronic state of worry. Stress is perhaps the biggest cause of death that is caused by cancer, heart disease, lung ailments, liver problems, kidney failure and so on.
- It is also common for people to use substances or go in for abnormal behaviors in their endeavor to fight stress that is chronic in nature. These substances could include alcohol, tobacco, food, drugs. The behaviors could include gambling, over indulgence in sex, too much time in the internet and abnormal and unusual interest in shopping, etc. these abnormal substance use or behaviors are counter productive because instead of quelling stress they help in increasing stress levels and worsen the situation. Hence the person finds himself or herself in a vicious cycle from which he or she is unable to extricate.
- Finding out and being alive to the early warning signals can help you to overcome stress in an effective manner. The early warning signals include being unwell generally, having bouts of vertigo or dizziness. People also complain of pains and general aches all over the body, clenched jaw and grinding teeth. There are others who complain of indigestion or acidity problems and also headache that is chronic in nature.
Many people have increased or decreased levels of appetite. There are others who complain of tension in the neck muscles, shoulders and face. There are a number of other early warning symptoms too that should not be ignored. These include racing heart, weight gain or loss, tiredness, sexual problems, and so on.
The best way to overcome chronic stress and the symptoms associated with it is to keep a positive attitude, learn relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing exercises, regular exercises that are light in nature and so on.