Our world has reached a juncture where people are so tangled with the fast pace of life that often they forget to slow down and enjoy life itself. Everyone works and competes like there is no tomorrow. A busy schedule is a norm and anyone who acts otherwise is considered abnormal! But what does this continuous and never-ending work culture do to the human body? No doubt, it induces stress which when neglected for long ultimately takes a toll on not just our health but our overall well being too. Let us take a look at the causes and symptoms of stress and how it can be avoided.
What Is Stress
Stress can be defined as an emotion, often negative, which comes by at the onset of a major change or a problem that can occur from adversities that come by in life. It can also be described as our body’s natural ability to signal you when things are taking a wrong turn and nudging you to ward them off. Many factors can induce stress in the mind and body. In a way, stress can be defined as a boon that comes our way when the person takes the challenges that come their way as a means to rectify future errors and learn from mistakes committed. It can also help one to muster up strength and courage to fight life and its many battles. But sometimes stress can go overboard and become overwhelming where it can affect the mental peace and physical health of a person. That is when life can take a bad turn and things may go out of hand if timely intervention is not met out. Learning how to manage one’s life, time and responsibilities would help reduce stress to a great extent.
Common Causes Of Stress
Stress is often caused by stressors that occur in our day-to-day life. Stressors need not always be negative in nature but some positive changes in life can also induce stress to some extent. Some common ones being:
- Life-altering changes that come our way like marriage.
- Difficulties in relationships that disrupt mental peace.
- Stress induced due to dwindling finances.
- Due to upcoming exams, promotions at work, being assigned a task.
- Problems within the family members.
- A hectic, demanding work schedule with increased working hours.
- Inability to face challenges and accept failures.
- Stubborn attitude with no room for a change of thought.
- Negativity, pessimism, low-self esteem.
- Having high expectations in life.
- Seeking perfection in matters of life.
- Life-altering health issues.
- Divorce or death of a loved one
- Loss of property, assets, etc.
- Rejection or loss of job
- Stress induced due to the nature of work.
Signs And Symptoms Of Stress In The Body
It may not always be easy to distinguish a stressed person from a non-stressed one. People are excellent at hiding their innermost thoughts and emotions to a great extend. But the kind of stress that overwhelms a person usually gives them away. That’s the kind that needs to be urgently looked into for if left ignored for long it can greatly harm life itself. Let us take a look at some common signs that let us know that a person is stressed:
- Emotional Symptoms
These are the symptoms that will firstly help the person themselves to identify if they are overly stressed out as well as work as tell-tale signs to those around them. The person often looks gloomy and low. They are quick to get agitated over petty issues and express uncontrollable anger. They are filled with negative thoughts and experience low self-esteem. They avoid crowds, isolate themselves and slowly slide into depression.
- Cognitive symptoms
These symptoms disrupt the functioning of an overly stressed out person and affect their life’s performances. It is usually accompanied by memory issues, inability to take decisions, constantly looking worried or worked-up and easily getting exhausted. They also find difficulty in concentrating and unable to finish tasks assigned. They are haunted by unwanted thoughts and over a period of time they end up being reclusive.
- Physical Symptoms
A common physical symptom of stress is that the person feels unexplained aches in the stomach. This symptom is common in both kids and adults. Most of the time when kids complain of tummy aches it is a sign letting us know that they were stressed over some issue. Likewise for adults they feel the urge to go to the toilet and end up either having diarrhea or constipation. A stressed-out person feels nauseous, dizzy and have frequent bouts of cold. They complain of chest pain, experience palpitation, lose interest in sex and feel unexplained aches and pains.
- Behavioral Symptoms
A common behavioral change that can be noticed in a stressed person is that they tend to eat either too much or too little, both of which greatly impact the person’s weight. They tend to stall tasks or neglect duties and turn away from responsibilities. They are often seen nail-biting, walking around lost in thought and resorting to drugs and alcohol for stress-relief. They shut themselves out from the rest of the world and find difficulty in sleeping all of which take a toll on their overall health.
Simple Steps For Stress Relief
- Learn to manage time and responsibilities – it is important for a person to know how well to manage the 24 hours in a day that they are blessed with. Maintain a journal where tasks are jotted down, a time table for routines are set. Avoid overburdening oneself the day’s work and attempt to carry out a given day’s work as per the journal entry. Don’t procrastinate and take it to the next day.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet – food plays a major role in inducing mood swings. Processed food often leaves us lethargic, sleepy and tired whereas healthy food drives one to think and perform better thereby reducing stress.
- Exercise regularly – choose a comfortable pattern in carrying out regular workouts in terms of time and ambiance. Pick a favorite activity like swimming, cycling etc and dedicate some time to the same every day to block stress from creeping into our minds. Exercise does not just energize us but also leaves the mind feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
- Dedicate time for self-love – every day keep aside some time to do things that calms or relaxes the mind like listening to comfort-songs, reading a book, nature-gazing, self-pampering whatever it be to relieve oneself of stress. Try to set a proper sleep pattern and make sure no one disturbs it. Only if one’s mind and body are relaxed can one function rationally.
- Spend time with friends and family – at least once, twice, or if possible daily resort to relaxed interactions with loved ones keeping work and schedule aside. Grab a mug of hot coffee or tea, indulge in relaxing talks, or watch a calming movie together as it works as a great stress-buster.
- Take life as it comes – Don’t keep unrealistic expectations in life. Try your best to not overly worry about the future. Engage in healthy competition and learn to embrace failures to learn from them. Learn to slow down, relax and live life one day at a time.
It is not completely possible to eliminate stress from our lives. Stress is a natural occurrence and it is normal for a person to feel worked-up and overwhelmed with the many challenges that life throws our way but we can always control how we respond to that stress by not allowing it to consume us. So when life throws lemons our way make lemonade and enjoy life whilst it lasts.