Stress is something that affects and impacts us all. The difference between stress being debilitating or detrimental is how an individual chooses to manage their stress. Stress is how the brain and body respond to demanding events, circumstances, or daily life. Stressors can include work, school, major life changes, illnesses, or traumatic events. Stress is serious and can affect your health. It is important to find ways to manage, cope, or reduce stress. The failure to address stress in our lives can lead to fatal events such as death. The reality is that stress kills and knowing when to seek help can save your life.
Here are five things you should know about stress:
1) Everyone deals with stress.
As humans, we are all prone to feel stress at one point in our lives. It is a part of the human experience and is a common factor that plagues us all. Some individuals have a better way of managing or coping with stress. Others may require assistance or therapy to help developing more effective tools to help them reduce or eliminate stress. There are many different types of stress, but all stressors can have severe mental, physical, and emotional impact. Stress can be short lived or last for years depending on the contributing factors.
Here are a few:
- Routine stress related to daily responsibilities
- Sudden negative changes in relationships, health, or careers
- Traumatic stress
2) Stress can be good.
Stress is inherently deemed as negative but that is not the case with all stress. Many individuals work well under pressure and use stress to motivate them to perform or succeed. The body has a natural stress reaction to danger that causes us to protect ourselves. In those instances, stress can be the difference between living or dying. The brain releases more oxygen to support these tools that are necessary to survive.
3) Harmful to your health.
Stress kills, plain and simple. Stress is unassuming because many people cannot tell the internal impacts until it is too late. Failure to address chronic stress can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Chronic stress also reduces your body’s ability to save your life and can cause issues with your immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems. Once these functions are suppressed for too long, they eventually stop working. This can lead to critical and sometimes fatal health conditions.
Stress can reveal itself in multiple ways such as migraines, insomnia, anger, irritability, or depression. People who have dealing addressing stress can also be prone to get sick more often than those who do not. The immune system struggles to perform regularly under copious amounts of stress.
Stress can appear a part of your daily routine. That is why it is important to pay attention the consistency of the stress and severity. If left untreated, stress can lead to more severe mental health issues.
4) Stress can be managed.
The good thing about stress is that it can be managed and there are several ways an individual can address stress. Every coping technique or activity will vary, but the results can be similar, and the overall goal is to eliminate or reduce stress. Often times a change in routine, job, or planning can help an individual alleviate stress. Here are some tips that may help you to cope with stress:
- Pay attention to your body and its response to stressful conditions. Address it immediately instead of letting it linger.
- Exercising regular has been known to reduce the impact of stress. Medical doctors recommend at least twenty minutes of exercise three days a week to help the body naturally reduce stress. People who are more physically active tend to be better at coping with stress.
- Relaxing Activities. Stress can be extremely disruptive to the mind and body. Many experts recommend that individuals find ways to decompress and relax to reduce stress. Some common methods are yoga, meditation, Pilates, tai chi, or other soothing exercises.
- Goal setting. Setting goals can help you prioritize things that need to be done in a timely manner without causing you to feel overwhelmed.
- Stay Connected emotionally with family and friends. They can help provide support when needed.
5) Therapy can be extremely helpful in eliminating the impact of stress.
Many individuals see therapy as an option when the stress is unbearable. The reality is that therapy can be a preventative measure for stress. Failure to seek help from a mental health professional may cause you to open the door to more serious health issues. Mental health professionals are also equipped to help you determine if other mental health disorders are contributing to your stress. If you are having difficulty dealing with the stress in your life, seek help right away.