Stress is the body’s natural reaction in responding to any kind of threat or demand. It is an automatic defense to protect yourself from possible danger. Helping you to stay alert, focused, and have enough energy, in a nerve-wracking situation. Stress can save your life but can also be a threat to you if it stays longer than it should be. Facing overwhelming challenges in life, especially emotional, can cause major damage to your health, productivity, mood, and quality of life.
When facing a stressful situation, the body releases hormones including adrenaline and cortisol that makes your heart beats fast, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and senses sharpen. These help you have enough strength, stamina, focus, and ability to respond quickly – preparing you to either fight or flee. These are helpful and works great for physical stress which usually subsides after a few minutes to hours.
Emotional stress tends to stay longer but manifest the same physiological reaction that can be unhealthy. Imagine having frequent or prolonged heavy breathing, faster heart beats than regular, and staying more focused than usual. This can disrupt the normal functions of your body systems making you sick. It can weaken the immune system, develop heart problems, affect the digestive system, speed up aging, trigger depression, and may result to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The more you are exposed to overwhelming challenges in life the easier for your stress responses to trigger making it difficult to shut off. Taking steps to reduce stress is crucial to prevent its harmful effects. Some techniques you can do to control stress are:
Yoga – this involves both exercises and meditation which are good for mind, body, and breathing. It promotes relaxation which is the opposite of stress.
Sports or hubbies – physical activities produce endorphins that helps relieves pain and stress. They also act as good diversions from the pressure and tensions you are experiencing.
Quality Sleep – not having enough rest can make you irritable, restless, lose focus, and easily get tired. Sleeping restores the body, regulates mood, and sharpens your judgement and decision making.
Support system – having an outlet when you are in a tough situation is necessary to help you cope up. Talking to a trusted friend or family may not always solve your problem but it will surely make you feel better.
Professional help – if your stress is becoming a burden, interrupting your productivity, causing sleep problems, and making you feel anxious constantly then asking for a professional help may be necessary before it becomes worse.
Stress depends on your perception. Something that is stressful to you may be positive for others. For instance, you may have a stage fright while others enjoy the spotlight. You may panic and feel nervous when work demands escalate but others strive and perform best under pressure.
Stress is anything that puts high demands on you. This includes not only negative events in life but also positive ones such as: getting married, having a baby, buying a house, building a business, or receiving a promotion. All have the same effects in the body which can affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Since stress is a normal part of life, taking control over it is necessary to live healthily, peacefully and happily.