Stress, if calculated, is the most searched topic on the internet because of its role in our life. Stress is perceived negatively, by people, because of its effect in causing various physical and mental ailments. However, it is also important to mention that small amounts of stress or good stress is important to keep our lives functioning. It motivates us to do a particular task by activating our nervous system.
Whenever, any external or internal event disrupts, or threatens to disrupt our physical and mental equilibrium, our body reacts in a particular way that results in the release of certain hormones, this particular state of the body is hyperarousal and we experience stress. This state of stress is normal, till we have coping resources to deal with it. For example, dealing with people, situations, internal thoughts etc. Whenever our coping resources start decreasing, the ill effects of stress start increasing. Prolonged stress is the main cause of most physical and mental illnesses, according to controlled research.
The way to save ourselves from harmful effects of stress is to develop enough coping resources internally as well as externally.
Physical and mental problems caused by stress
Long-term stress, whether, bad relationship, work pressure, the unhealthy home environment is the main cause of the most physical and mental ailments. Mind and body have the reciprocating relationship, the problem in one triggers the problem in other, so we need to take both of these into account. As backed by advanced research, stress causes following problems:
- If we talk about physical health, stress is the cause of immune system weakness, because prolonged stress destroys white blood cells, that results in catching infections, allergies very easily.
- Stress causes stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders like IBS( irritable bowel syndrome) and other gut problems.
- The role of stress has been seen in heart diseases. It causes many heart problems by increasing blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol level. Stress also plays an important role in diabetes( especially Type II) by increasing blood sugar levels.
- Stress is also importantly linked with obesity, it causes obesity by increasing the cortisol level in the body. Also, some people consume a lot of food in stressful situations and in some cases appetite decreases.
- The role of stress has also been seen in many skin problems like allergies, eczema, and others.
- Stress also reduces the quality of sexual health like the decrease in sperm count, painful sexual intercourse, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation etc.
Mental and social problems
- Stress is the main cause of psychological or mental problems like irritability, insomnia, lack of focus and concentration, aggression etc.
- Stress causes mental disorders like depression, anxiety, memory problems etc.
- Stress causes poor judgment, constant worrying, loneliness and isolation, negativity and other problems, these can lead to other severe mental problems.
- Stress impairs our social functioning like poor marital relations, negatively dealing with people, aggression etc.
These problems are very interrelated and once can give rise to the other. Stress is the biggest challenge of the 21st century, however, there a lot of ways to cope with stress.
Coping and managing stress
Stress is the result of problems in our everyday life like daily hassles, work pressure, cutthroat competition, economic and social problems, unrealistic expectations and also information overload. People have different personalities and dispositions and react differently to stressful situations. A particular task can be worst kind of nightmare for one person and a pleasurable activity for others. However, there are certain coping strategies that can be helpful and really effective for everyone.
- “A sound mind rests in sound body” is a common axiom; if we take care of our physical health, we can effectively deal with stressful thoughts and solve our daily problems.
- Exercising, eating the balanced diet, sleeping appropriately can help to deal with common problems in our life.
- Avoiding alcohol, smoking, excessive caffeine can help to keep our body calm and healthy.
- Socialising with people, getting support from family and friends and maintaining healthy relationships, can also help in dealing with stressful events.
- Getting help from professionals like psychologists, counselors, and other health experts, can also be effective in dealing with stress.
- Meditating, joining yoga classes, joining religious gatherings can also alleviate the symptoms of stress and help in stress management.
Role of physical exercises in reducing stress
Have you ever heard about or experienced runner’s high? If yes, then you know that it is a high feeling experienced after we run. Actually, the exercising of any kind helps to release endorphins, natural feel good hormones, in our brain and we experience happiness. Exercise is very important for reducing or managing stress, it rejuvenates the energy we need to deal with stressful situations. If you have lived a sedentary lifestyle in past, then joining a boot camp training program would be very beneficial. In the boot camp training program, you will be given basic training to make your body ready for advanced exercises.
Exercising reduces toxins from your body, normalizes blood pressure, blood sugar level, and other vital processes of the body, that help us to deal with physical and psychological stress.
Stress, no doubt is a great challenge in our life that hampers our physical, mental and social functioning. It is the cause of many diseases, however, we have techniques and methods, if employed properly can help us to deal with stress effectively.