What is stress?
Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”
Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and your quality of life.
Problems that can happen by a stressing too much:
Depression and anxiety
Pain of any kind
Skin conditions, such as eczema
Thinking and memory problems
The common signs of stress are:
When some people are feeling stressed out, they tend to touch their faces more often. This can spread bacteria and contribute to the development of acne. In addition to stress, other potential causes of acne include hormonal shifts, bacteria, excess oil production and blocked pores.
Many studies have found that stress can contribute to headaches, a condition characterized by pain in the head or neck region. study surveyed 150 military service members at a headache clinic, finding that 67% reported their headaches were triggered by stress, making it the second most common headache trigger.
Stress may take a toll on your immune system and can cause increased susceptibility to infections.
In one study, 61 older adults were injected with the flu vaccine. Those with chronic stress were found to have a weakened immune response to the vaccine, indicating that stress may be associated with decreased immunity.
Decreased energy and insomnia
Stress may also disrupt sleep and cause insomnia, which can lead to low energy.
One small study found that higher levels of work-related stress were associated with increased sleepiness and restlessness at bedtime.
Another study of 2,316 participants showed that experiencing a higher number of stressful events was significantly associated with an increased risk of insomnia.
Digestive problems like diarrhea and constipation can also be caused by high levels of stress.
For example, one study looked at 2,699 children and found that exposure to stressful events was associated with an increased risk of constipation.
Stress may especially affect those with digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These are characterized by stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
How to cure stress:
Keep a positive attitude.
Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
Learn to manage your time more effectively.
Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life.
Make time for hobbies and interests.
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