Stress is part of everyday human activities; it can affect the physical and emotional life of any human being. Stress is also said to be how you react to life demands and it can have a positive/negative impact on your mental health. It can’t be completely eradicated but can be reduced to the barest minimum for you to handle effectively.
It can have a positive impact on your health if you know how to effectively handle your stressful periods (through stressful management) which can transmit into being productive in your everyday activities, but if it’s poorly managed, it can have a lasting negative effect on your overall mental health.
Psychologists defined stress as a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can stem from any experience or thought that makes you feel disturbed, angry, nervous, or frustrated. Stress in its totality is your body’s reaction to challenging situations. Your body can react to these stress-induced changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
The process of adjusting and adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress is resilience and not many people can cope well in the face of life challenges.
Resilience is typically defined as the capacity to recover from difficult life events. “It’s your ability to withstand adversity and bounce back and grow despite life’s downturns,” says Amit Sood, MD, the executive director of the Global Center for Resiliency and Well-Being.
STRESS AND COPING STRATEGIES
As earlier said, stress cannot be completely eradicated but can be managed. The way you react to stress as an individual varies from how other people react to stress and their ability to cope with stress differs.
How you perceive a situation, and your general physical health are the two major factors that determine how you will respond to a stressful situation or repeated stress. Study shows that genes and things that happen to you earlier in life (e.g., child abuse or lack of family support/love), even in the womb, can affect how you handle stressful situations, possibly making you more likely to behave irrationally.
Negative lifestyles like overeating, smoking, drinking, and not exercising, which can often result from being under stress, can also add to the negative effects of stress.
Stress can be acute (short-term stress) or chronic (long-term stress). Acute stress which is a short form of stress can be a result of an unpleasant experience, usually occurs within one month of a traumatic event. It lasts at least three days and can persist for up to one month. The occurrence of traumatic events simultaneously can cause what is known as Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) referenced from this wellness site.
Chronic stress is a continuous sense of feeling pressured and overburdened over a long period. Chronic stress can be very detrimental to your overall health and not only mental health, the early symptoms may include aches and pains, insomnia or weakness, less socialization, distorted thinking.
Everyone has what is known as their own “stress triggers” which can be categorized into; work stress and life stress. Work stress is the most common factor responsible for the stresses human experience and this is because an average human spends most of his time at his/her workplace.
The effects of stress can be physical as well as emotional; Physical symptoms of stress include Aches and pains, High blood pressure, Headaches and dizziness, Chest pain, Exhaustion or sleeping problems, Digestive problems, Weak immune system. Emotional symptoms include Panic attacks, Sadness, Depression, and Anxiety/irritability.
Stress cannot be diagnosed medically, only the individual experiencing the stress can determine whether it’s present and how severe it feels. A coping mechanism like behavioral and cognitive tactics can be used to manage stress-induced crises, conditions, and demands that are assessed as distressing. Stress cannot be completely avoided but its impact can be reduced to a reasonable amount through some strategies like:
- Social intervention; by staying connected to people who you feel good and calm, a friend or family who can provide emotional support.
- Engaging in some relaxation activities like yoga, meditation, and muscle relaxation.
- Worrying less
- Adopting some positive life adjustments like healthy eating, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
Changes are stressful and not always easy because a change requires adjustments and adaptation which can be very tiring. Coping involves adjusting to unfamiliar demands, or stressors. This requires giving a greater effort and using greater energy than what’s required in the daily routines of life.
Prolonged mobilization of effort can contribute to raising levels of stress-related hormones and to eventual physical breakdown and illness. These illnesses can include heart issues, insomnia, or other stress-related disorders and problems.
Having such problems with your health is not good for the longevity of your body. Your body needs to keep going as you get older, and as you forget to exercise and succumb to stress-related problems, you can get on a bad path.
Growing as a person should be the largest goal for you, and combatting stress should be on the highest level of your priorities.
Having a good support culture around you, and a positive environment will also keep you going as you reach your older age range. Your family or friends are important to check in with for emotional health, as you share stories, whether simple or complex, about your days and the small things that happen throughout your life.
STRESS AND COPING
Keeping these systems of positive reinforcement are really good to combat stress, but meditation will really put you over the edge in terms of helping your body heal and be healthy according to our research. We want to make sure that you are happy and healthy going forward.
Individual differences a role in particular styles to adopt different people might prefer to use certain coping strategies over others. These differences in coping styles usually reflect personality differences and being able to fit the most appropriate coping strategy to the demands of different situations can be very helpful in stress management in general.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.