According to the American Institute of Stress, an institution that designates members as experts to the advancement of science and innovation for stress management, the top cause of stress in the United States of America is job pressure followed by money, health, relationships, and poor nutrition. This has allowed people to feel and be in a condition of physical, mental, and emotional stress that leads to numerous negative effects towards life, health, family, and personal image. Hence, stress must be addressed and managed to have a quality life.
We will be discussing what stress is, cause and effect of stress, and how to look for ways, a stress reliever, in diverting our attention from a stressful situation. This is a very important topic as right now more and more people get depressed, causing illness, risking relationships, and a lot more. More so, this allows us to better understand ourselves, our ever-changing surroundings, and people we encounter so that we can manage situations and be able to respond positively.
What is Stress?
“Stress is a reaction to a short-lived situation or it can last a long time” as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA), a large and professional scientific organization of psychologists in the United States of America. Stress can be found anywhere; in your home, at the office, on the road to name a few. It becomes more dangerous when it interferes with your ability to live a normal life, making you feel weak, tired, irritable, out of focus, moreover can affect your body deteriorating your physical health.
Cause and Effect of Stress
Being self-aware and recognizing the sources of stress helps us better manage and prevent it from worsening, besides who wants to live in a very stressful life, where everything seems to be dull and negative. Therefore, stress must be addressed and managed to have a quality life. Managing stress is a complicated and very confusing task, especially if we don’t know how to identify these levels and its kind so here are the 3 types of stress:
Acute stress is usually acquired from demands of recent past, anticipated outcome, and pressure in the near future. It is the most common form of stress, where it is the most recognized type, by most people, simply putting it as “what happened bad lately?”. It is important to remember that acute stress is a short-term type of stress.
- Not getting an important client opportunity
- A meeting with a love one in an airport, while stuck on traffic
- Housing bills and expenses, due at the end of the week
The usual acute stress symptoms comes from emotional distress, where the person feels anger, anxiety, depression, or is irritable. Another one is muscle pain located on the head, back, and jaw leading to muscle, tendon, and ligament problems. In addition, effects of stress can affect your blood pressure, chest and stomach pain, shortness of breathing and a lot more.
Episodic Acute Stress
This is a kind of stress that makes people experience acute stress most of the time and those who worry a lot by being, or becoming, pessimistic in every situation. These people see things in an unorganized, always in a rush, short-tempered, worrying a lot that something bad and dangerous is about to happen. Usually they feel continuous headaches, migraines, hypertensions, and chest pain. This type of stress is longer than the usual acute stress that needs professional intervention that will take months to treat.
Chronic stress severely wears people physically, mentally, and emotionally day after day to year after year. It is the condition where people never see a way out of a miserable situation forcing them to submit in giving up in search for solutions. This stress haunts people for the long time like the stresses being given by these situations.
- Unhappy marriage
- Despised job, career, or life situation
- Being stuck in poverty
Symptoms of chronic stress are very difficult to treat, in which it requires greater medical attention with a combination of behavioral and stress management medication. Chronic stress may lead to suicide, violence, stroke, heart attack, and cancer. Some chronic stress stem from traumatic experiences that greatly affects views and personality.
Stress can affect us in a lot of different ways and can come to us in various methods. Some people take stress positively and do better by using it as a motivation to perform well than expected. But usually it drags people and make them think, feel, and act negatively over a specific period or a lot longer. It usually comes as a natural reaction to an event, situation, person, or challenges that we need to accomplish. Our body responds through certain actions like heart pounding, sweating of hands as a natural alarm system that is already built in amongst us. And with this we need to decide if we want to be stuck in this position of taking stress by the horns and endure it for a long time, or make a quick solution and don’t bother thinking about it again, not dwelling on it too much.
Natural Stress Reliever Tips
In one study, conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), they discovered that by making time for enjoyable activities every day decreases the risk of heart disease by 22 percent as it shows positive affect, or feelings, towards happiness, joy, contentment, and enthusiasm. By reducing stress levels we are not only making ourselves better but is also investing on our health in the long run. Here are the 7 ways to naturally relieve stress for a better life:
Identify the cause of stress
It is all about self-awareness. If one feels stressed, there should be an initiative to gather yourself up, take a deep breath, get a pen and paper, and start to write down the cause, your mood, and thoughts about it. Through this identification process we can logically see where we are and can decide what we want to have by developing a plan to address the cause of stress.
Being transparent and open will help you in managing stress. Although we know that relationships is a big contributor to stress, it can also help us in reaching out to family members and close friends in letting them know that you’re having a really hard time. In this regard, they can help you solve issues, challenges, or something that you are keeping for a long time by receiving practical solutions, assistance, and ideas in dealing with the cause of your stress.
Resting your body and mind
With the advancement in technology and lifestyle, it’s hard to take a rest from all the noise that surrounds us. It helps to take a rest when we feel stressed, all we have to do is try to cut back on television, phone, computer usage, coffee, for coffee drinkers, and simply go to bed. Close your eyes and think of nothing, sleep for 8 hours every night, and do exercises in the morning in increasing your immune system. This allows you to be in accord with your body, what it needs and what it deserves.
Walk away when feeling emotional
In a situation where confrontation and deadlines are on the line, we tend to be emotional with the risk of getting angry. We don’t want to make a decision and action that will ruin something that can be avoided and can be resolved if we were in a logical state. Walking is a good way to prevent this from happening, plus if can also help you body increase the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood booster, in reducing your stress.
Travel and go out
By traveling in different places we learn new things, we discover ourselves, we gain more friends, and become happy by just seeing something beautiful for the first time. It helps us move our attention away from stress, makes us feel happy and keeps our relationship with ourselves and family intact. Simply enjoying life.
Learning new things
This may cause stress as well, but by learning new things it allows us to be more rational helping us solve issues differently, giving us a new pair of lenses to see the world. This encourages us to become a learner and be able to triumphant. It only not benefits our mental health but allows us to do more, becoming versatile and strong.
It is always a good decision to see a medical professional, or a psychologist, in this regard. They are accredited and trained to handle issues in helping people manage themselves effectively. Through their help we can identify situations, adjust behaviors, and develop action plans in solving our problems.
Stress is a serious matter, and we should be able to address this properly. It’s either us, our family, friends, colleagues who are experiencing this and we need to be positive about it for us to live longer, better, and stronger. Hence, stress must be addressed and managed to have a quality life.