Facts About Stress

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Facts About Stress


Stress is a normal reaction the human body has due to both internal and external changes. The body can respond to these changes physically, mentally or emotionally. In today’s fast-paced world, chronic stress happens to be very common, but your body and mind can pay a high price. Therefore, it is important to learn to recognize overwhelming stress and what you should do about it.

What is stress?

Stress is the normal way your body react to any change that requires an adjustment or response. It is your body’s way of responding to any kind of threat or demand. Your body reacts to these changes physically, mentally and emotionally. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your thoughts and your body. As matter of fact, even positive life changes such as, getting a job, welcoming a new born baby, promotion, or buying a new car can cause stress.

How does stress affect human health?

Our human body is designed to experience stress and respond to it. Stress can be positive when it keeps us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. However, stress becomes negative when we face continuous challenges without relaxation or relief between stressor. As a result of the preceding, we become overworked, and stress-related tensions builds. When stress continues without relief, it can lead to a condition called distress. Distress is a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body’s equilibrium or internal balance that can lead to physical symptoms such as, chest pain, elevated blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, upset stomach and problems sleeping. Distress can also produce emotional problems such as, panic attacks, depression or other forms of worry and anxiety.

What are the warning signs of stress?

Some of the warning signs of stress include:

  • Sexual difficulties
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Exhaustion, tiredness
  • General pains and aches
  • Upset stomach, diarrhea
  • Clenched jaw, grinding teeth
  • Sweaty and cold palms
  • Loss of appetite, or increase in appetite
  • Muscle tension in face or shoulders 
  • Muscle tension in neck
  • Racing heart

Tips for reducing stress

It is important for people like, retirees, adolescents, mothers, and university students to learn how to manage stress in order to lead happier and healthier lives. You may want to begin by considering the following tips:

  • Do not depend on drugs, alcohol, or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress
  • Seek out social support by spending enough time with those you love
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Eat healthy, nutritious, well-balanced meals
  • Learn to manage your more effectively
  • Create time for interest and hobbies
  • Get enough rest and sleep as your body needs to recover from strenuous events
  • Choose to be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your opinions, feelings, or beliefs instead of getting angry, passive, or defensive
  • Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques such as, yoga, mindfulness, meditation etc.
  • Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that can create excessive stress in your life
  • Seek medical help with a psychologist or other mental health professional trained in stress management to learn more about healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life

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