Stress is part of everyday life, but living under stress generates many negative consequences on our body and mind.
Stress is part of our lives and everyone experiences it, as it is a natural response of the body to anything that requires action or attention.
In small doses, stress is not bad because it activates the mind, the body, and helps us avoid dangerous situations that could endanger our lives. However, we must always be attentive to the signs because a high level of stress can compromise our physical and mental health.
What are the causes of stress?
Many everyday circumstances can trigger stress. The pressure at work, financial problems, marital conflicts, grief, and major and/or sudden changes in life are usually the main sources.
During stressful situations, the body reacts by releasing certain hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These substances increase heart rate, slow digestion, divert blood flow to major muscle groups and alter many other functions in our body.
When the feeling of threat disappears, the body relaxes and resumes its normal function. However, in cases of chronic stress, the relaxation response is not sufficient, and the person lives in a state of constant alertness, causing a great deal of physical and mental damage.
Main symptoms of stress
A stressor can be something that happens only once or is of short duration, or it can happen repeatedly and over a long period of time. Both can lead to several physical and psychological symptoms, but the main ones are :
– Mood changes
– Constant worry
– Decreased or increased appetite
– Digestive problems
– Low battery
– Decreased sexual desire
– Inability to relax
– Muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulder area
What is your stress level?
Knowing your stress level is important because it will allow you to act as quickly as possible and thus reduce its consequences. Then answer Yes or No to the questions and find out if you are stressed.
- Do you feel that everything is bothering you?
- Do you get angry easily?
- Do you have problems with your partner or with your loved ones?
- Do you often feel without energy?
- Do you find it difficult to cope with everyday problems?
- Are your finances a constant source of concern?
- Are you doing more than you can do?
- Have you lost your job or are you about to lose it?
- Do you think you have made many sacrifices in your life?
- Do you find it difficult to maintain emotional control in personal conflicts?
- Do you have any health problems?
- Do you not know how to handle criticism?
- Do you always feel tested?
- Do you sleep poorly, too little, or too much?
- Do you still feel uncomfortable in your skin?
- In the past year, have there been many major changes in your life?
- Do you feel that you work a lot and that your effort is not recognized?
- Do you think your life is very boring?
- Have you recently lost a loved one?
- Can’t you allocate your time well?
If you answered yes to most of the questions, this is a good sign that your stress level is very high. The nerves on the surface and the pressure to perform all the daily tasks will eventually affect your physical and emotional health. If you continue to live on the run, with a multitude of tasks on the worry that you won’t be able to cover as many activities at once, eventually you will explode. Therefore, it is important to change this situation.
How to fight against stress?
Although stress is inevitable, with a few simple strategies, it is possible to manage it more calmly.
- Exercise: Physical activity has a very positive impact on the body. It reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and releases endorphin, a substance that helps improve mood and acts as a natural painkiller. In addition, exercise improves the quality of sleep and increases self-esteem.
- Take care of your diet: A healthy, balanced diet is also important for managing stress. Avoid caffeine, a stimulant found in tea, coffee, chocolate, among others. Many studies suggest that caffeine consumption can increase irritability and anxiety.
- Practice mindfulness: This technique (also known as Mindfulness) involves focusing attention on the present moment, without thinking about the future or the past. With mindfulness, it is possible to reach a state of tranquility that generates a great deal of well-being, which helps to reduce stress.
- Take good care of yourself: Integrating regular activities to take care of yourself into your daily life is essential for stress management. Spend quality time with friends and family, listen to relaxing music, laugh, take yoga classes, or find any other activity you find enjoyable.
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