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Stress is an inevitable sensation that all adults (yes all) and even some non-adults encounter at some point in their lives. Stress can take on many forms in ones’ life whether it’s mental, physical, or behavioral. The causes of stress are often referred to as stressors, however, not all stressors are necessarily bad. Additionally, not all stressors are external but may be internal as well. It is important to become knowledgeable about stress as it is often linked to underlying diseases and mental illnesses. To acknowledge what stress is and create mechanisms to maintain it will help one live a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Stressors, as previously stated, are not all bad. Good stress is referred to as eustress and can be experienced during life changes such as marriage or pregnancy/parenthood. You can also experience eustress in moments such as performing in front of a crowd or even presenting a project in front of your peers. It’s a woosh feeling of excitement yet nervousness that gives your stomach butterflies, meanwhile it also gives you a new motivation to embrace the moment despite the pressure. Although moments of eustress seems like an overall happy ending, stress is still being triggered. Distress, aka prolonged bad stress, is the more common association that people make when referring to stress. Distress can stem from numerous factors, externally or internally. External factors include stressors from things such as school, work, or even finances. Internal factors include stressors from things such as overthinking, pessimism, or unrealistic expectations. Whether you’re experiencing distress or eustress, your body will sense it and begin to react until it is minimized.
How it works
The term “”fight or flight is a phenomenon that occurs whenever your body senses that you’re stressed. Your hypothalamus sends signals to your brain so that your brain can release stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help your body prepare to react. When the feeling of stress goes away, your body stops releasing adrenaline and cortisol and goes back to normal. If you’re constantly stressing out, your body will overwork itself and cause complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or acid reflux. The common signs of stress are procrastination, constant worrying, illness, agitation, isolation, deterring from responsibilities etc. With these types of symptoms the only way to minimize your stress is to take initiative and bring your mind, body, and spirit back into equilibrium.
Accumulation of stress can also cause mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Whenever someone experiences stress, the person usually feels overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure which can cause them to have an anxiety attack. An anxiety attack causes the person to experience intense emotions such as fear, anger, or even sadness which is coupled by shortness of breath and increased heart beats. These attacks usually last several minutes until the person is able to calm down, however, the sensations felt during those minutes can cause the person to stress even more. Furthermore, prolonged stress can cause depression due to the body constantly working in attempt to bring the body and mind back into balance. People under severe stress can experience burn out or lack of motivation to complete certain responsibilities which are similar symptoms of those who suffer from depression.
During stressful times it is important to not only recognize that you’re stressed but to also take the proper steps in eliminating it. It is common for those suffering from stress to turn towards substance abuse through drugs or even food. This mechanism is not only unhealthy but also doesn’t resolve the issue. Instead, it is merely a temporary escape which is why those who turn to substances to relieve stress become addicted. Therefore, the ways of minimizing stress should also be analyzed for its efficiency.
One great example of ways to minimize stress is to practice yoga. The philosophy of yoga empathizes the connection between your mind, body, and spirit. It helps you focus on yourself and promotes calmness. The principles in yoga is to relax your mind, practice on your breathing, and develop mechanisms to create a peaceful state of well being all through various postures. Studies have also found that eighty-five percent of people who regularly practice yoga have found it beneficial in relieving stress. Other ways to reduce stress include participating in regular exercise, working on time management skills, or even watching what you eat as far as nutritional value goes.
It is important to remember that everyone experiences stress and that stress will always be present in some form or fashion in ones’ life. Whether it’s in ones’ mind or physically in front of them, good or bad, people will always have a relationship with stress. The results of stress can severely impact a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore, it is beneficial to pick up tips and tricks on how to maintain healthy levels of stress. With the help of these tips, people are able to live happily and healthfully despite any stressors in their lives.
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