What is Stress?
Stress is a common state-of-mind today, given the high intensity life most of us have. Demands at home, work place and all other commitments and responsibilities, seem to overburden and overload us. Most often leaving us stuck in wonder whether we really can cope with such pressured lifestyle. Stress is what we feel in such situations.
So, what is stress? Stress is our body’s normal physical response to events that cause a response of challenge or upset our normal well-being. When we get a sense of threat, our body’s defenses come into action and display an automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you.
Under balanced functioning, it is stress, which helps us stay motivated, focused, energetic, and alert. While in an emergency situation, stress is known to be a life savior too. When you feel stressed, the body’s stress response reacts by releasing stress hormones into the blood. In small doses this is good, keeps us motivated and going. However if you are constantly running a life full of stress, it could damage one’s physical and mental health.
Causes of Stress
Our reactions to situations differ. Therefore, the cause of stress is different for each one of us. What causes stress depends on our own perception of it. Therefore we all have different triggers and threshold levels.
Causes behind stress can be external and internal or self-generated. Some common External causes of stress:
· High demanding and pressured work that keeps you busy
· Financial matters
· Family and relationship difficulties
- Internal causes of stress:
· Unrealistic expectations
· Lack of acceptance of uncertainty
· Negative approach
What is Stress Management?
While under stress, we may feel completely out of control of our lives– it is important to realize that stress cannot be completely eliminated. One can always cope with stress and control how much it can affect you. You can always control your response to stress.
Stress management is all about taking charge to change the situation causing stress, whenever it is possible for one. Changing one’s reaction to stress when the situation is not easy to handle and taking control of oneself to make time to relax, majorly helps reduce stress.
Stress management begins by identifying sources, which are causes of stress. Cause of stress is largely a result of one’s habits, attitudes, lifestyle etc. Coping with stress can be tricky. One must consider healthier productive ways for stress relief, instead of unhealthy and damaging ways of relieving stress.
Stress Relief Tips
Since stress is inevitable, it’s best to realize what causes stress, learn to change the situation, adapt to it and form a reaction to the situation of stress. Some possible relaxation techniques from stress are listed:
1. Observe what could be the possible cause of stress. Practice letting go and make a conscious decision not to get angry or stressed. And take control of the situation.
2. Learn to say “no”, especially at work. Do not take up responsibilities beyond personal capacity. Learn to be more assertive. And learn to compromise too.
3. Do not bottle up emotions that are a cause of stress. Learn to share and express feelings.
4. Avoid people who cause stress. Form new friends and relationships.
5. Plan something leisurely each day to relieve from your stress, like, long walks, music or anything that gives you joy.
Stress testing is critical to understand the functioning of the heart during physical stress. Commonly used for easy diagnosis of coronary heart disease, stress test helps in knowing if the heart is working hard and beating fast.
During stress testing, one exercises (involves walk or run on a treadmill) to make the heart work hard and beat fast. A stress test can detect the following problems:
- Abnormal changes in the heart rate or blood pressure
Abnormal changes in the rhythm of the heart
- Symptoms like shortness of breathe, chest pain etc