This fast-paced world brings about a number of problems that make life difficult. At times there seems to be no ray of hope available. That is when a person starts dwelling in great amounts of stress.
Being stressed out is perfectly normal in some circumstances. When you have an upcoming exam or you fear danger, you might feel anxious as a result. The problem, however, arises when stress continues to be part of our daily lives for a longer period of time. That is when your daily routine gets disrupted or you feel other physical and emotional side effects as consequences. As a result, the entire body starts to pay the price. If the condition seems to intensify further, then seeking medical treatment becomes the need of the hour.
On a very fortunate note, there are a number of natural remedies which one can practice helping relieve him/herself. These remedies may be easy to carry out and can be a viable alternative to synthetic treatment. If carried out properly, they can yield favourable results within a short span of time.
This article is the all you need guide to develop a deeper understanding of emotional stress.
To accurately arrive at a conclusive definition of stress may be difficult. For there remains no consensus within the medical community. In general sense, it may be defined as the body’s natural coping mechanism in response to danger or threat. The danger may be an abstract thought or might have an actual physical existence. Regardless, your body starts responding in a certain manner by triggering the secretion of chemicals in the brain. This automated process is sometimes known as “stress response.”
In fact, the secretion of certain chemicals or the initiation of stress response may be useful for us. It is one meaningful way of protecting ourselves from the present threat. The response may provide with energy and help us remain focused. All this allows for better reacting to the danger and getting out of the situation in the best way possible.
What happens when you are stressed?
If you find yourself facing a danger of any sort, then there will occur some changes in your body. The nervous system comes into play and starts releasing stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. The secretion of these hormones prepares the body for the emergency response. The results of which are described as follows.
- Contraction of muscles
- Rapid heartbeat
- Blood pressure rises
- Shortness of breath
How much stress is too much stress?
Being stressful in situations, perceived to be considerably harmful, is normal, however, there is a different side as well. When stress becomes part of daily life, exceeding the normal level, then that requires attention. If it starts to disturb everyday routine, causes physical exhaustion and becomes emotionally draining, then medical advice needs to be sought. Too much stress or stress overload is a serious problem that needs professional psychiatric treatment. Scientists classify such situation as chronic stress.
What are the effects of Chronic Stress?
The body is unable to distinguish between normal level and chronic stress. A person suffering from the latter condition will find trivial situations, considerably stressful. Imagine work as simple as driving. In normal circumstances, driving may not cause any danger or be of any concern. However, someone suffering from chronic stress will trigger the production of stress hormones in this particular situation. As a result, activating the body’s emergency response. The frequent occurrence of such situation makes execution of daily chores considerably challenging.
Chronic or continued period of elevated stress can cause other harmful effects. While just being in a stressful situation may be emotionally tiring, there are other consequences which need to be considered. Nearly the entire body is affected, disrupting the performance of various functions. The immune system may not be able to work properly, digestion becomes a problem. Even so, it can particularly be harmful to the reproductive system as well.
An exhaustive list of prominent side effects caused by chronic stress is described below.
- Depressive episodes and high levels of anxiety
- Bodily pains
- Insomnia and disturbed sleep pattern.
- Skin problems. Commonly people will face eczema
- Impaired Cognition. People suffering from chronic stress will have reduced memorizing ability.
- Massive decrease or increase in weight. Some people tend to cut off their appetite in response to stress. On the contrary, it can also induce bulge eating and contribute towards weight gain.
- Rare cardiovascular disease(s)
A too much of stress is Stress Overload. If it continues for longer periods of time, then it develops into a chronic form. Regardless, the problems associated may cause a number of difficulties for the person suffering from them. One of the major issue people face is that of unawareness. They will tend to sideline the condition until the side effects intensify. Thereby, it is important to be aware of all the signs to make a timely well-informed decision.
To look for stress overload, it is pertinent to understand the four classifications of the symptoms. They can be categorized as physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural. The following table highlights the symptoms associated with all four of the categories.
|· Unable to memorize things
· Poor concentration and minimal concentration span
· Anxiety ridden thoughts for the most part of the day
· Mood swings
· Feeling lonely and unwillingness to socialize
· Anger and being frustrated
|· Too much or little sleeping. Insomnia at times
· The urge to remain socially aloof
· Resorting to substance abuse
|· Bodily pain
· Impotency and reduced sex drive
· Rapid heart bean and frequent episodes of chest pain
What Causes Stress?
Holmes and Rahe in early 1967 developed a scale to identify major events that can contribute to high levels of stress. According, to Holmes and Rahe scale, the following events are known to be the most stressful events in one’s life
- Job loss
The stressors, contributors of stress, can vary from person to person. For some people, one particular instance might appear stressful, while it may not to other people. The major misconception that prevails around is that stress is always caused by negative situations. It may not be the case.
Events or occurrences that might appear joyous, like marriage, can be utterly nerve wrecking. According to a research, a considerable portion of people still was unable to cope with stress when they received a job promotion.
Stress can be caused by either internal or external factors. External causes can be composed of financial difficulties, work-related problem, or school/college life.
On the other hand, internal causes of stress include being too much pessimistic, avoiding social relationships, or having too much expectations.
Yet one should always be vigilant of the causes and side effects. This is important as to make the best judgement and execute necessary preventive steps.