Understanding and Eliminating Stress
Stress isn’t a sign that you are being productive. You may have been working or studying hard, but you’re doing it at the expense of emotional, physical and mental health.
Stress can be good too, especially if the pressure is motivating you to perform well. But you need to look more closely. Are you really performing well under pressure or is the stress too much for you?
Stress is your body’s response to any threat or demand by releasing hormones that are supposed to increase your strength, speed, stamina and focus. Say, you need to get out of the building because a fire alarm rang. Your body temporarily increases your speed and perception to escape danger. However if your body constantly responds to pressures that aren’t exactly life-threatening, the body’s processes are interrupted. It’s called chronic stress and it can lead to diseases.
Chronic stress is characterized by the following: neck and back pain, frequent headaches, dizziness, stomach pain, frequent colds, constipation or diarrhea, chest pain, flatulence, mood swings, anxiety and nervousness, depression, changes in appetite, lack of sleep, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating, frustration, obsessive behavior, fatigue and many more.
Your body can’t distinguish which situations are life-threatening. The release of adrenaline and cortisol makes your blood pressure higher, increases the glucose levels in your blood and makes the heart beat faster.
Effects of Stress
If you always feels stressed, the rest of your body is affected over time. You will have more episodes of migraine or headache, hyperventilation, inflammation of the heart and blood vessels, heartburn or acid reflux, painful periods for women and diarrhea or constipation.
If left unchecked, you will suffer from any of these conditions: obesity, depression and/or anxiety, heart disease, hypertension, infertility, insomnia, substance and/or alcohol abuse, and weak immune system.
1. Exercise. If you turn this into a routine, you will at least have one task in the day that isn’t related to work or school. You can even meditate during exercise.
2. Socialize. You may have been neglecting your friends or missing out on family gatherings. Reconnecting with people will give you time to reassess your lifestyle. Family and friends can also support you emotionally if you’re having a difficult time at school or work.
3. Have a hobby. Make time for things that you think are fun and relaxing. Don’t think of hobbies and interests as a waste of time when you’d rather be doing your homework or report. You life doesn’t have to necessarily revolve around studying or making money. Remember why you’re working hard in the first place—so you and your family can enjoy life.
4. Take breaks. Your work isn’t your life. Nothing good comes out of stressing yourself to death if you can’t reap the fruits of your hard work. Taking a break once in a while is good for you. Think of it as a reward after a hard day’s work.