Why does stress happen and how can you manage it?
Dr. Karishma Shaikh
Dr. Karishma ShaikhFebruary 16, 2022

No one can visualise life without stress. Psychological stress is part of our life, which may be necessary for normal personality development. However, if these stressors become excessive, then a person may need psychotherapy. Otherwise, stress can make you psychologically ill and cause psychosis in you. Stress

Stressful situations cause various mental disturbances, including mood disruptions, anxiety, or depression. Unpleasant life events like childhood and adult abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence, and bullying, can be the sources of stress that arise through a complex of social, familial, psychological, and biological factors. The major risk arises from the mushrooming of such experiences for a long time.

Do you want to explore more about stress, types of stress, stress management, and many more things? You have landed on the right page. This blog will clear everything about stress.

What is stress?

Stress can be comprehended as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes physical and mental discomfort for the long or short term. Physical or chemical elements that can cause stress include shock, infection, poison, disease, and injury. The emotional factors and stressors of stress are many and of different types. Some people connect "stress" with psychological stress; scientists and doctors use the term to refer to a factor that disrupts the stability and balance of bodily functions.

Prolonged stress affects mental and physical health. Your body automatically will fasten heart rate, metabolism, blood flow to your muscles, and high blood pressure to fight or flight response. Join Thyroid Community/

Types of stress

There are mainly two types of stress:

  1. Acute stress
  2. Chronic stress

Acute stress

Acute stress is quite common. Its symptoms develop after stressful situations and do not last long.

What happens during acute stress response? When you are under any unpleasant situation, your nervous system gets activated, and the level of stress hormone also increases. The body increases heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

Chronic stress

If the stress lasts for weeks to months, it comes under chronic stress. When a person is exposed to stressful situations frequently, it increases the release of stress hormones in the body.

Chronic stress can harm your mind and body. It can also be the reason for heart disease, high blood pressure, and various other conditions.

What are the leading causes of stress?

Day-to-day life

The everyday incident can be the reason for stress. Sometimes some incidents affect your life forever, such as being stuck in traffic for long hours, work pressure, household work, etc. All these become the reason for stress. The person is unable to get out of them and becomes a victim of stress.

Unforeseen life events

You never expect some events like losing someone, divorce, etc. But when they occur, they leave you in extensive trauma.

Loneliness

Being alone sometimes becomes a cause of stress. If a person lives alone and has no friends, he can feel stressed out.

Physical illnesses

If any person has a prolonged physical illness, he can be a patient of stress. If someone has heart disease, cancer, or any such disease, the person has to confront the effects of stress.

Old memories

Depression can happen to anyone at any point in life. Some people are prone to stress quickly. It depends on their past life incidents.

Genetic

Depression disorders are sometimes genetic. If your parents have depression or stress issues, you are also at 80% risk.

Household conflict

As per research, women experience more stress and mental pain than men. It may be due to household conflicts. When women are locked in the house for a long time and tortured, they feel stressed.

How to diagnose - Symptoms of stress

It is crucial to diagnose stress on time and work on it. Here is the list of stress symptoms include:

  1. Headache: A person might have a frequent headache as the effect of stress.

  2. Teeth and jaw grinding: Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are mainly due to anxiety. If you notice this symptom, check with your doctor.

  3. Body tremors: Sometimes, you must have noticed the shaking movements in one or more body parts. It is due to anxiety or stress.

  4. Be sad: A stressed person feels low most of the time.

  5. Sleeping more or sleeping less: A depressed person either sleeps too much or too little. They are not able to get a sound sleep.

  6. Overeating or undereating: Overeating or undereating is another symptom of being stressed.

  7. Get irritated over minor things: They get annoyed even with small issues.

  8. Contemplating death or suicide: If the condition keeps deteriorating with time, a person can feel suicidal also.

  9. Get angry at what makes you happy: Stressed people get mad at the things that made them happy earlier.

  10. Consider yourself inferior to others: It might be a stress if you have an inferiority complex.

Besides these, there can be other symptoms like losing confidence in yourself, feeling worthless, ignoring anything, speaking less, etc.

How does the body respond to stress?

Do you know that the nervous system has two operational modes; the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system ? The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for stress response (fight-or-flight). On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the body's relaxation response. When you are in a homeostatic state, your body is in equilibrium.

If you want your body to activate its natural self-repair mechanisms, then your nervous system should be in a relaxation response.

When you encounter any stressful situation, your body shifts to Sympathetic mode, which means your body works for stress response. You become active and work to get out of that particular situation. When you resolve that situation, your mind moves to Parasympathetic mode. For instance, when you wake up in the morning, you suddenly realise that you haven't prepared a document for the evening meeting. At this moment, your body shifts to the Sympathetic mode of the Autonomic nervous system. You start working on completing the documents. Once it is done, your body moves to relaxation mode (Parasympathetic). It is the usual response of the Autonomic Nervous system, but when a person gets stuck in Sympathetic mode and doesn't shift to Parasympathetic mode, it becomes problematic.

How can we manage stress? - Stress management

Stress attacks the immune system and reduces the body's power to fight back ailments. Hence, it would be best if you try to manage stress.

  1. Exercise for half an hour daily: Get up every morning and go for a walk. Exercise helps to keep you healthy. While exercising, happy hormones are released, and it reduces stress.

  2. Healthy Diet: A person with stress should consume fresh fruits and green vegetables. Due to this, there will be no shortage of vitamins, proteins, and iron in the body, and there will be a stress reduction.

  3. Off alcohol: Stay away from alcohol because alcohol does not reduce stress but makes it worse. A person with anxiety should say bye to alcohol.

  4. Get plenty of sleep: A person gets stressed and remains upset due to lack of sleep. If you cannot sleep, lie down with your eyes closed and do not let any thoughts enter your mind. It will help you fall asleep, and you will feel peaceful.

  5. Do meditation and yoga: The best way to overcome depression or stress is meditation and yoga. Include yoga and meditation in your daily routine. If you think you know the reason for your depression, consider it, and don't be discouraged.

  6. Listen to music: If any person is stressed, he should listen to music. It can reduce stress.

  7. Drawing or making art: Drawing should be done to reduce stress. At the time of stress, there is an effect on the person's left side, which affects their thinking power. Therefore, drawing whatever comes to mind on paper can help.

  8. Get help from others - Don't try to be a superhero. Ask yourself, "How much can I do? Is the time frame realistic? Can I do it on my own?" And if you need help don't hesitate to ask.

  9. Spend time with your friends and family: Spending quality time with family members and friends strengthens bonds and instills a sense of security and belonging. It can help you fight stress.

  10. Seek help from experts: It can be challenging to deal with stress independently. It's okay to get support when you need it. Talk to your doctor about your stress and tell them how it affects you. A licensed counselor or other health professionals can help you find ways to reduce symptoms of stress.

In a nutshell

People should not make fun of their friends, relatives, or the person suffering from stress; instead, we should help them. We must keep in mind that many people worldwide suffer from stress. They need love, care, and attention. It can help them fight stress. If we don't ignore the initial symptoms of stress, it can become worse.

“We all should engage ourselves in stress-releasing activities like yoga, meditation, book reading, etc. If it seems beyond our control, it is always good to seek a friend's advice or a professional like a psychologist.”

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