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Saturday, August 14, 2010

What is Stress?

Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves! (Laugh And Learn)Do you have trouble concentrating? Are you always worrying? Do you feel anxious such that your hands tremble and your palms get sweaty?

These are all signs of stress. You can control stress and not let it control you!

What is Stress? Stress is the body's response to any physical or emotional changes in life. This response includes the release of a hormone, adrenaline, in the body. Adrenaline cause an increase in heart rate, breathing and in blood sugar levels. It also diverts the blood flow from your digestive system to your muscles.

This response prepares you to "fight or flight". Therefore you will feel more alert. We all experiences stress as we cope with daily events. Daily demands such as rules, responsibilities, decisions, changes, relationships, illness and money can cause stress.

Stress can give life some spice and excitement. Positive stress helps you to cope with problems might arise.

On the other hand, living under very stressful conditions for long periods of time, may harm your health, your relationships and your enjoyment of life.

Both positive and negative life events can lead to stress. Common causes could include:

Major Life Changes
* Death of loved ones
* Marriage
* Pregnancy
* New job
* Divorce
* Unemployment
* Accidents
* Legal issues
* Relocation
* Debt
* Illness

Environmental Events
* Excessive noise
* Traffic jams
* Time pressure
* Competition
* Health epidemic

Everyone reacts and copes with situations differently and thus we experience stress to different levels of intensity. Your body sends out physical, mental, behavioural and emotional warning signs of stress.

Physical Signs of Stress
* Headaches, migraine, stomach aches
* Muscle tension
* Stomach ulcers
* Fast heartbeats
* Sleep disruption
* Loss of appetite or overeating
* Sweaty palms
* Trembling
* Chronic fatigue

Emotional Signs of Stress
* Anxiety and being bad-tempered
* Excessive worrying, moody
* Sadness, fear
* Feeling inadequate

Mental Signs of Stress
* Poor concentration
* Forgetfulness
* Lack of confidence

Behavioural Signs of Stress
* Acting in a defensive, aggressive or impulsive manner
* Nervous habits (stammering or biting nails)
* Loss of interest in activities

* Avoidance of tasks
* Easily distracted
* Withdrawing from social activities
* Drinking or smoking excessively

Prolong stress exposes our body constantly to the effects of adrenaline and will lead to many health problems:

* decreased immunity levels, thereby increasing our chances of getting colds and other illness

* worsening of asthmatic conditions

* increased blood pressure that will increase the risk for stroke and heart attacks and even kidney problems

* digestive problems like indigestion, constipation or even diarrhoea

* depression, nervous breakdown or mental illness

Some people have negative way of coping stress. They take drugs, consume excessive alcohol, smoke, binge on food and injure themselves. These only mask the stress they feel, harm their health and even cause emotional and financial burden to their family.

We could not be able to get rid of stress altogether, but we can manage it at a level that we can handle.

The stress busters, in my next post, will tell you some positive ways to cope with stress.

Meanwhile watch the following video to understand the connection between Nutrition and Stress.

Related Tools / Resources:
The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
Stress Management for Dummies
IsoFlex Stress Ball by Toysmith (Colors May Vary)
emWave Personal Stress Reliever (Silver)
A Time for Relaxation, Vol. 1: Guided Relaxation Techniques for Wellness


kelly world news said...

you gave good definition on it. SSmile you back

Inforhub said...

@kelly world news, thanks for visiting and the nice comment. :)

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