Do you often feel worn out or irritated at work? Or exhausted, and unwilling to cope with the situation at hand?
A constant state of low energy like this may make it difficult to handle regular tasks or make it harder to respond to emotional situations.
These changes may take an emotional, physical or mental toll on a person, and is referred to as stress.
Now, everyone handles their stress differently. Either the stressful situation is taken care of, or the response to the situation is changed. The way of responding plays a crucial role in stress management.
Understanding this subject is important as it affects your mental and physical well-being.
While it's inherently not a bad thing, stress signs that last for a prolonged period should be dealt with.
So, if the causes of stress can't be completely avoided, then how do we reduce and manage it?
Read on to find out how you can keep it under control!
Table of Contents
What Are The Signs Of Stress?
Stress is a situation that meddles with the hormones in your body. It triggers hormones called adrenaline and cortisol in the body, which are the reason for most of the stress symptoms.
Some of the common stress signs include hypertension, high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, increased breathing rate, insomnia, and so on. But, how does this happen?
The adrenaline and the cortisol work to increase your heartbeat, and breathing rate, influence the fear and mood part of the brain, alter immune responses, and so on. They constrict blood vessels to improve blood production to muscles, improve glucose distribution to the brain, and prepare your body for a flight or fight survival mode.
Now, for a temporary period, this is fine, and may even be beneficial to the body. But, to have it often leads to consequences such as physical sickness and pain, digestive issues, chances of stroke, sleep issues, weight gain, low energy, dizziness, and a weaker immune system. It can also have an impact on your mood, motivation, and energy to complete day-to-day tasks.
Hence, stress symptoms such as these indicate that you may be going through a stressful situation. This can be from work, family issues, and day-to-day habits, and can affect your mind and body if not managed. Prolonged stress effects on the body may lead to long-term health consequences.
What Are The Different Types Of Stress?
Learning to manage and reduce stress starts with identifying the type of stress. Depending on the situation and the duration of stress, there are mainly four types. Acute stress, episodic acute stress, chronic stress, and eustress.
Acute stress is the short-term stress that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Be it waiting for traffic, the nerves before an interview, or the stress associated with completing work tasks, all these generate small amounts of stress.
Episodic acute stress, as the name suggests, is acute stress that occurs frequently or constantly. These may occur when the stress-causing situations are frequent, or if the situation at hand hasn't been dealt with yet.
Chronic stress can be a result of traumatic experiences and lead to a form of stress that may seem never-ending. For instance, the stress of a loan or debt can seem inescapable.
Eustress, on the other hand, is a positive form of stress that is associated with a thrill, or an adrenaline-filled experience. Skiing, water sports, and paragliding are some examples of sports that can generate eustress. It keeps a person energized through short bursts of energy and elevation of mood.
What Are Some Stress Prevention Tips?
To reduce the impact that stress may have on your life, you can work to prevent it from escalating. Before stress symptoms take a hold of your life, it's best to notice the signs and take steps to manage and reduce stress.
Learn to look at the signs of extreme stress. It may lead to emotional and physical exhaustion. Daily activities may seem harder to complete, and you may even lack motivation. These are subtle signs that stress may be dominating your everyday routine.
Beyond these, work on mindfulness and getting some exercise in. Did you know that about 62% of adults who exercise to manage stress report that it's very effective? Being active can keep the mind and body healthy, thus helping you to fight stress before it becomes overpowering.
Engage in activities that you enjoy, be it hobbies or creative events. Today's generation glorifies hustle culture, but this can lead to stress and burnout. Having a healthy work-life balance, taking time off to learn a skill, or engaging in a hobby can be beneficial to reduce stress.
How To Treat Stress Symptoms
Stress causes a physical and emotional toll on the individual who's suffering from it. While there's no distinct method to treat stress symptoms, there are some interventions that can reduce the harmful effects. Some ways to treat stress symptoms include,
1. Indulge In Calming Exercises
Did you know that a simple exercise such as a walk for 30 minutes can improve the mood and reduce stress? This is due to the release of brain chemicals called endorphins. This is what happens with most calming exercises such as meditation, yoga, and light cardio. Trying exercises such as pranayama is also beneficial, as it helps relieve anxiety, and lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
2. Talk To Family Or Close Friends
In this digital world, we are used to video calls and voice calls, but stepping out of this digital communication can benefit stress. Face-to-face communication with family or loved ones is a great stress buster. It helps vent out any issues that you may be facing and reduces anxiety. Their words of reassurance can bring calm, and a sense of peace. The pent-up stress can sometimes not allow a person to see a situation clearly, which is resolved by talking it through with a close friend or family member.
3. Modify Your Diet & Reduce Alcohol & Caffeine Intake
Our diet has a huge say in how we respond to situations and how our body functions on a daily basis. Having a nourished, healthy diet provides the extra energy to cope with stressful events in life. Along with this, practising mindful eating can prevent episodes of stress eating. It improves digestion and avoids eating unhealthy food or excessively as a coping mechanism.
4. Practice Self-Care & Have A Work-Life Balance
One of the major causes of stress may be the work environment or the load of work that you may have. Learn to procrastinate less, have work boundaries, and take adequate time off for a work-life balance. Being a workaholic and getting influenced by the hustle culture may just lead to chronic stress later on. Instead, keep your phone on silent mode, take some time away from electronic devices, engage in hobbies like playing an instrument, and spend time travelling and being with your family. These relaxation methods can greatly reduce stress.
5. Ask For Social Support Or Mental Health Counselling
6. Cut Away Things That Can Add To The Stress
Things such as constantly scrolling through social media, and news, procrastinating, consuming too much alcohol, and indulging in smoking can add to the stress in life. Moving away from these can help handle the situation better and reduce stress. Even making slow progress, such as reducing caffeine consumption daily can add to the progress of reducing stress.
Conclusion: How To Practice Stress Management
Stress management isn't about managing symptoms as it arrives, but includes ways to prevent and reduce stress. With proper stress management tips, handling a stressful situation can be easier.
Following a nutritious diet and regularly exercising are some of the top tips. Our diet and body management influence the mind and increase resilience to stress. Based on a healthcare professional's advice, taking vitamin and mineral supplements may also be beneficial.
Taking healthier alternatives to alcohol, and caffeine may be beneficial. Speaking to family members, or seeking professional help is also an option. When done in the long term, these practices can greatly help manage stress and overall well-being.
Overall, there's no one solution that can alleviate stress, but rather a combination of solutions. Stress relief practices take time, and practising them every day helps manage stress in the long term. Making sure to get to the root of the problem, addressing it, cutting out things that can elevate stress, and following daily practices that help build a healthier life are tips that can keep stress at a manageable level.