What is stress? An overview

Stress

Life these days is full of stress. We have school, work, family, holidays, and many more things that contribute to our stress. What is stress? What does stress do to your life? Does stress harm your body? Does it affect your family and friends? What can you do to relieve all of this stress we have? Stress has become a part of everyone’s life at some point, some more than others. Stress isn’t always a bad thing as long as it is a small amount. It can give you that little push you need to finish the task you have been putting off.

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What is stress? Stress is your body’s response to a situation whether it’s good or bad. When your body feels danger or some kind of change, it starts a defense system to protect you. This defense system is called stress response. It is very important because in any dangerous situation it can give you that extra alertness or extra energy boost to make it through that situation safely or possibly save your life. Also the stress response helps you get that project done for school you keep putting off or study for that test that you need to pass. So stress can be good and bad depending on the situation. And the stress response is very helpful in most situations. When your body feels threatened your nervous system releases a ton of stress hormones through your blood stream, which prepares it for action.

The things that cause stress are called stressors. Stressors can be good or bad. The good ones could be getting married, going to college, or getting a promotion at work. Bad stressors can include divorce, financial problems, or illness. What stresses one person out may not be stressful to another person.

There are many symptoms that stress causes. There are physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms. The physical symptoms may include aches and pains, nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and frequent colds. Emotional symptoms moodiness, depression, feeling, sense of loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed. Behavioral symptoms may include eating more or less than usual, sleeping too much or too little, isolating yourself, using drugs or alcohol, and nervous habits. The cognitive symptoms could be memory problems, not being able to focus, poor judgment, racing thoughts, and constant worrying. Then there is chronic stress and that can be very dangerous. Chronic stress is when you are experiencing so many stressors that your body doesn’t have a chance to relax. Chronic stress could cause heart disease or a mental illness.

How can we deal with stress affectively? Psychologists say there isn’t a way you can completely eliminate stress from your life but there are a few ways you can deal with it. The first way is to talk about it. You shouldn’t hold your feeling in all the time, find someone you can trust and tell them about the stressful things happening in your life and that should help. The second way is to know the affects of stress on your body. If you find yourself having the symptoms of stress then you need to figure out how to reduce the stress. The third way is prioritize. Figure out how to accomplish all your tasks in time without being overwhelmed. The last way is to make some “me time”. Everybody needs a break every once in awhile. Make an appointment for a massage or go out with your friends one night. The time off of your stressful schedule will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the tasks ahead. If you try one or all of these things you will see a big difference in your stress level and you will feel a lot happier.

Stress doesn’t just affect you personally; it also affects the people around you. Your friends and family and whoever else you spend time around will see and feel your stress. When you get stressed you tend to be tired all the time which makes spending quality time with the family hard to do. Also stress can cause you to be in a bad mood which will affect the people you are around because you might say something or do something you didn’t mean. Being stressed and busy so much will cause you to lose time with your loved ones and will affect your relationship with them and that is one of the worst things that could happen. A good thing to do if this is happening is to recognize it and talk to your family and friend and tell them you realize what you are doing and that you need help to overcome it, and you need their help doing it.

As you can see from a psychologist’s perspective stress could be a positive thing but it is also a negative thing if you let it get out of control. If you know the symptoms that stress causes then you will be able to reduce stress easier before it becomes too late and causes a life threatening affect. If you are facing a lot of the stress symptoms seek a doctor’s help or follow the few ways mentioned about how to reduce stress. Don’t ignore stress if it has been going on for a long time, you will ruin relationships or become ill. It isn’t that difficult to overcome stress.

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