What is Stress? Stress is nothing but the factors (like physical, mental, or emotional) that induce either bodily or mental tension. They can be divided into external pressure, which includes stress that arises from the environment, social, or psychological situations, and internal stress that is caused by either illness or due to a medical procedure. Such factors initiate the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response which can be explained as a complex reaction that involves both neural and endocrine systems.
What happens during Stress?
The physical reactions that are seen during stress can be attributed to catecholamine hormones, consisting of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which helps in the immediate massive muscular action. Some of the reactions that take place in our body are:
- An increase in heart and lung activity
- Flushing or paling, or it can alternatively occur
- Either slow or no digestion, due to the action of the stomach and upper-intestinal sphincters
- Blood vessels get constricted in many parts of the body
- High release of nutrients, primarily glucose and fat for muscular activity
- Muscles blood vessels dilate
- Secretion of the lacrimal gland and salivation get inhibited
- Pupil gets dilated (mydriasis)
- Bladder becomes relaxed
- Auditory exclusion (hearing is low)
- Tunnel vision (peripheral vision is affected)
- Spinal reflexes are not inhibited
What does Stress cause?
Stress is known to cause or influence many medical conditions, including psychological conditions like anxiety and depression. Other medical problems like poor healing, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, poor control over diabetes, and other such condition can be noticed only if the stress is long term, meaning it is chronic in nature.
Why should Stress be controlled?
Is the occurrence of stress worrisome? Not necessarily. After all, it is a natural response to many life’s situations like family, work, and money problems. Even research on stress has shown that it can be beneficial since it makes an individual in certain circumstances more alert and performs better. But such positive effect is useful only if the stress is short term. As we discussed earlier, chronic stress creates long term damage to both the mind and the body.
Stressful life events and solutions
Each individual faces stress during certain events in life which are either expected or unexpected. Some of the facts and tips to cope with stress are discussed below.
How to Reduce Stress during Exams?
Today, students face such a high amount of stress mainly because of their aim to become a top-performer. Indeed this phase is unavoidable in a student’s part of life. Rather than allowing stress to cause downfall, a student can use it as a drive to work hard.
To cope with exam stress, one needs to understand the reasons for this to occur. Based on it, we can formulate methods to reduce the pressure the student feels. General reasons for such stress to occur are:
- Low or no motivation
- Preparation and planning is not well organized
- Other’s high expectation
- Peer competition
For such stressful situations, it really depends on the student on how they react when faced with exams. The following are some tips a student can develop during the exam season.
- Listening to classical music
- Taking a quick walk
- Organize a study routine
- Get enough sleep
- Eat nutritious food
- Remove or avoid potential distractions
- Open up to a trustworthy confidant if it’s too much to bear.
Overall, this kind of stress source really depends on how we allow it to affect us. We can either drown in stress, or we can come out of it successfully. Remember, exams are just a part of life, and it is not life.
How to Reduce Stress in Workplace Job?
Occupational (Workplace) stress can be said to be more of how we react than the actual present situation. It can mainly arise when we feel that the demands are higher than the resources we have at hand. Such conditions happen when the employee senses that the needs of the job conflicts with the amount of control he has in fulfilling those demands.
This type of stress has many origins or sometimes, a single event might induce it. But it can affect both the employers and employees alike. A small amount of stress is not a big deal, but if it’s in a large amount, it can be detrimental to both physical and mental well-being. It can happen in your office with your employees, clients, customers, or anyone.
Below are some practical tips for managing such stress:
Drink lavender tea: The herb lavender has the power to induce calmness. It has the same effect as the pharmaceutical drug lorazepam, which is used for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Plan and organize: It might seem a pointless thing to do, but really some effort for holding your work now can help to reduce the amount of last-minute work stress.
Hobby: Whether it is a simple hobby or a sophisticated one, investing your time in a hobby can do wonders more than you think. This appreciably reduces the stress caused by your occupation and improves work-life balance.
Take a deep breath: Deep breathing helps to relax when under stress. Make sure to inhale deeply through the nose, hold it for 3 to 5 seconds, and exhale completely through the mouth. Along with this exercise, relax the shoulders. This will help to decrease the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ response.
Exercise: In times of a stressful day, a simple walk or a quick workout can help us because it pumps up the body’s endorphins.
Let’s be honest; any job is going to have an amount of stress whether you like it or not. But the ability to handle it and get the work done is what makes any job satisfaction.
How to Avoid Stress during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is the time women experience many changes in their body, emotions, and even in the family circle. Though these changes promote happiness, they can be a potential for causing stress which can seem unbearable. Some of the common causes of stress can be:
- Negative experiences like miscarriage or death of a baby
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Physical changes during pregnancy
- Financial difficulties
- Previous depression, anxiety, or other mental illness
- Stress during pregnancy is common, but if it’s too much, it can affect both mother and child. Such stress can commonly result in trouble sleeping, either no appetite or overeating and headaches. If high levels of stress continue, it may result in increasing the chances of having a premature baby, which is at risk to develop numerous health problems.
Practical suggestions that might help are as follows:
- When under stress, make sure not to keep it bottled up. Confiding with someone can really help.
- Remember, any discomforts that are experienced during pregnancy is temporary and ask your healthcare provider on how to handle it.
- Try to healthy food. Ask your healthcare professional if it would be OK to exercise since it can help to relieve stress.
- If you feel like you are depressed, quickly talk to your doctor about it. Early treatment and counsel may help to deal with it.
- On a happy note, pregnancy is a beautiful time, but expected mothers need to be alert and not worry more about what they cannot control.
Remember… No matter what your age or background is, if you are struggling with chronic stress, you need to know that it is not something to be ashamed about. While you can take steps to reduce such stress, it is better when you check with a healthcare professional so that it can be treated at the early stage. And if someone you know is suffering from chronic stress, please help them out since it is a serious issue.