Did you know that stress is not bad at all to some extent? Have you ever wondered how stress can trigger off some disease conditions if not well managed?
Stress can be defined as being under too much mental and emotional pressure. Stress sometimes is necessary for survival, helping us to react to dangers serving a purpose. Stress on the long term poses a challenge to our emotional and physical health and wellbeing affecting our lives, relationships with friends and families.
There are recent researches linking stress to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It is, therefore, necessary that we take adequate steps to manage stress by working on our emotional strength, remaining focused and in control of situations to help us overcome our stress levels.
Stress levels may vary from one person to another with some people using their stress levels as a springboard while others may worry and become very ill. It is therefore important to focus on the things within our control. The following have been identified as causes of stress;
- Little work-life balance
- Family stress such as bereavement, divorce
- Loss of job
- Chronic disease condition
- Emotional problems including low self-esteem
Your physical response to stress results in a ‘fight or flight’ response causing increased heartbeat and accompanied by sweating. It is often short-lived. However, when your stress level has stayed longer, they can pose a risk to your health. The causes of stress can vary from one person to another. When stress is experienced over a short period they can be associated with the following symptoms;
- Lack of sleep or insomnia
- Loss of concentration
For a long term stress level that has not been properly managed, they can be associated with the following symptoms;
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Stomach upset including cramps, diarrhoea and constipation
- Weight gain or loss
- Skin problems such as acne, eczema
- Loss of sex drive
The following have been recommended to help you manage your stress levels
- Physical activity which helps you deal with stress more calmly and clearing your thoughts
- Getting support from friends, family members or work colleagues who you can share your troubles with
- Take time to relax and socialise
- Challenge yourself to do new things such as sport; set realistic and achievable goals to help you build confidence and clear your head
- Avoid the use of alcoholic drinks, caffeine and cigarette smoking to deal with stress. They may cause heart conditions over a period of time and will not take the stress away long term.
- Prioritize workload and manage your time
- Be positive; be grateful for what you already have and accept the situations you do not have control over
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Sleep well
- Listening to a relaxing calming music
It is recommended that you seek help by contacting your doctor when stress is accompanied by anxiety and depression at an early onset as too much stress over a period of time can affect your health and wellbeing.
Please note that contents of Pharmahealthtalk health advice and healthy tips are no substitute for any advice recommended by your doctor or other healthcare professionals. Always seek a medical opinion for your health conditions.