Stress is an unavoidable part of our lives. Every day we experience stress at home and work. Family altercations, managing our finances, traffic jams, and an inability to sign an important deal are factors that bring us down and cause stress. A little stress is beneficial – it can help us pull ourselves together and focus on a particular goal – too much stress can drain you physically and morally and even lead to severe mental disorders which require professional treatment. Since it’s impossible to completely eliminate stress factors from our lives, everyone should be aware of effective strategies for reducing stress. Still, before dwelling on such strategies, we should learn more about what causes stress and the effects stress has on us.
What Is Stress?
Stress is our body’s reaction to a specific situation, which doesn’t necessarily have to be hazardous or unpleasant. For instance, such an event as a wedding or graduation ceremony also can prompt a good deal of stress on our mind and body. I recall my high school prom, the most anticipated and dreaded day of my life. I put an immense amount of effort into preparing for the event and wound up with chronic headaches and fatigue, which almost ruined the festive atmosphere of the upcoming prom. The first weeks in college also were more than stressful. Everything from my dorm room to the assignments our professors were giving to us terrified me and made me think I wouldn’t survive even a month in that academic hell. Fortunately, I managed to regain self-control and adopted some important stress relief strategies, one of which was getting to buy assignments from the professional online research paper writing service, PapersOwl. In college, I also learned about chemical reactions that occur within our body every time we deal with a stressful situation. This reaction is called a stress response, which is followed by a series of well-orchestrated changes in the way our body usually functions. Beads of sweat cover our face, our heart begins to pound, breathing quickens, and muscles tighten. Thus, our body prepares for a fight or running away. Unfortunately, over time, the repeated activation of a stress response mechanism takes a toll on our body. Let’s take a look at some unexpected effects stress has on our health and wellbeing.
As you know, chronic stress may result in a migraine, headaches occurring on and off for weeks and even for month. Such pains are related to body tensions that are a common response to stress. Moreover, it’s a scientifically proven fact that stress is a potent killer of serotonin, a neurotransmitter stimulating feelings of happiness and regulating pain. Therefore, distressed people tend to suffer from chronic headaches more often thant those handling stress successfully.
The nervous system controls lots of processes in our body, including digestion. Consequently, if we experience stress, our nervous system fails. Stress affects the glands, which are responsible for digestingon of food. The volume of gastric juice changes and alters pancreatic enzyme and bile levels. Besides, when we’re stressed, such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream and disrupt the digestive processes. These hormones affect people differently: – some refuse to eat, while others start to consume immense quantities of food. As a result, the former lose weight, and the latter run the risk of developing obesity. Such problems as diarrhea, nausea, and an upset stomach are also quite frequent in people suffering from chronic stress.
You may be surprised, but stress affects blood glucose levels significantly, which may result in diabetes. The notorious adrenaline and cortisol are also capable of stimulating an increase in blood sugar, which provides a person dealing with a stressful situation with additional energy. For instance, if we are attacked, we can use this energy to fight back an attacker or run away. When it’s all over, our body is to gets back to normal. Still, with our hectic lifestyle and constant tension we experience on a daily basis hinders our ability to cope with the consequences of stressful situations. Thus, high levels of glucose in the blood of a person affected by chronic stress fail to ebb even in the absence of a stressor, which is fraught with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
Other common stress-related health problems include insomnia, hypertension, high cholesterol, change in sex drive, listlessness, chest pain, fatigue, social withdrawal, substance abuse, and severe depression.
How to Tackle Stress
As you see, stress is too powerful an enemy to let it gain the upper hand on you. So, there are some useful coping strategies you can use as soon as stress looms on the horizon:
- Regular physical activity. Stretching, jogging, swimming in a pool or lake, can distract you from the factors usually causing stress. Moreover, regular workouts will strengthen your body and make you more resilient to stress.
- Relaxation and meditation. Deep breathing, yoga, bonding with nature, and singing can have a healing effect on a disturbed mind.
- Hobby and spending time with your dear ones. Try to devote more time to what you like to do the most. Knitting, reading a book, listening to your favorite music, skateboarding, painting, or gardening can distract you from unpleasant thoughts. Also, don’t forget about socializing with your family and friends. Good company is the best remedy for stress.
- Reconsider your habits. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can boost your memory, refill your energy, and make you more self-collected. Get enough sleep and avoid tobacco use, excess caffeine, and alcohol intake.
Remember! Taking good care of yourself and your health is a key to living a long and happy life.