Contributed by – Dr. Dhrity Vats
Stress is something that we all have dealt with in our lives at some moment or the other. Some people suffer from stress as a matter of habit. While few are mentally quite strong to overcome it. Stress is the body’s reaction when an adjustment or response is required. It can affect both our mind and body. People under a lot of stress can become tired and sick and can have a tough time while concentrating and making decisions. Sometimes, they even suffer mental breakdowns. Stress can be good and bad. Good stress is essential as it keeps a person motivated to perform better and achieve the goals. However, when this level of stress exceeds the normal limit it becomes bad stress. Effects of stress on the body can be harmful as it can interfere with the lifestyle. Even children can have stress during their exams. Knowing the stress symptoms can be helpful in identifying your situation.
Symptoms of Stress
Each individual has a different definition of stress. What might give stress to one can mean nothing to the other. Thus, symptoms of stress can vary from people to people. They can have a cluster of symptoms, therefore, it is essential for it to be discussed in detail with the health adviser. Thus, stress can even have different effects and symptoms on people in all aspects of life. One might have any of the following symptoms
Emotional symptoms of stress can be:
- Having mood fluctuations
- Being irritable
- Having low self-esteem
- Being dazed
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Desist others
Physical symptoms of stress can be:
- Feeling of hypoglycemia
- Chest pain and intense heartbeat
- Pains and aches in the body
- Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
- Nervousness, trembling in feet and hands
- Loss of libido
Cognitive symptoms of stress can be:
- Constant worrying
- Poor judgment
- Confusion or delirium
Behavioural symptoms of stress can be:
- Overeating or under-eating
- Not being responsible
- Avoiding people
- Increased alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco intake
- Fidgety movements and nail-biting
- Excessive shopping and the use of the internet
Causes of Stress
Everyone’s stress can have a different reason. Some people might get stressed just for a simple reason that they are having guests in the evening while some might get stressed due to the loss of a family member. Stress and anxiety can have different causes. The threshold of bearing stress varies in each individual. There is no parameter of stress. But a few common reasons which generally can cause stress in maximum people are:
Stress due to the profession:
- Work pressure
- Long working hours
- Change in profession
- New and challenging projects
- Conflicts at work
Stress due to health issues:
- Falling ill frequently
- No or low physical movements due to certain conditions
- Chronic diseases
- Life-threatening diseases
- Rare and incurable illnesses
Stress due to family situations:
- Unhappy marriage
- Loss of a family member
- Domestic violence
Stress due to finances:
- Managing expenses
- Unstable income
- Sudden requirement huge expenses
Stress due to social and environmental factors:
- Tragic incidents
- Disturbance in society
- Wars and political riots
When in stress, the body releases cortisol which is also known as stress hormones. This hormone brings physical changes in the body and affects the functioning of the mind as well.
Long term and Short-term effects of stress
Stress does not have any parameter but if stress has been affecting an individual for a long time causing major damage to an individual’s well being then it can be called as long-term stress. This can cause permanent damage to one’s life. It needs medical intervention and treatment. It can have the following effects:
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunctions like premature ejaculation, loss of libido
- Memory and concentration impairment
Short term stress fizzles out after the event that causes stress finishes. This causes effects that are short term and does not cause much damage to the human body and mind. Though if the individual has a tendency of having short term stress quite often then he can have long term stress too. The effects of the short term might include:
- Generalized body ache
- Grinding of teeth
- Biting nails
- Pricking of skin
- Shallow breathing
Dealing with stress
You are not the only one dealing with stress. Yes, it can have an impact on you but then all types of stresses which we encounter in our lives can be dealt with. One should know the symptoms your body is showing. Identifying the source or stress is essential. With more and more people talking about their stress and depression one should open up and speak about one’s fears and challenges. Women are said to face more stress than men but there is no concrete report or study that shows this. It is not a gender-based sickness. It is an environmental and socially based disorder. Few things which can help you reduce stress are:
- Indulge in a lot of physical activity like gymming or dancing. This lifts mood
- Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol
- Sleep more as this would give peace to mind from stress
- Talk to people who are close to you. Find a confidant in the family or your friend circle. Few even find talking to religious preachers quite helpful.
- Be an optimist. Having negative thoughts increase stress.
- Loosen your control. Believe in destiny that few things are destined to be those ways. This would keep you at peace.
- Make time for hobbies and interests.
- Eat healthy and well-balanced meals.
- Adopt a pet. They are great stress-busting buddies.
- Look at people around you who have due to any conditions are living their life with optimism. This shall motivate you to not give up.
- Read books on motivation and teachings.
- Consult a good psychologist if you feel the initial signs of stress.
There are no rules in life. Everything that comes your way is just a test that you can easily overcome with a positive outlook. Do not isolate yourself in stressful situations. Surround yourself with your loved ones and their Jadu Ki Jhappi can do magic in your life.
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