Everyone gets stressed at a particular time in their lives, but not all know how to deal with stress.
Some let it weigh them down and lead them into depression or worse, death. The question is how did others handle their stress? How can I deal with stress?
In this article, I will be listing out a few ways that we can manage stress and not let it get the best of us.
The medical encyclopedia has defined stress as a feeling of emotional or physical tension, your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand.
Hans Selye in 1976, defined stress in terms of behavioural science as the “perception of threat, with resulting anxiety discomfort, emotional tension, and difficulty in adjustment.”
Hungarian endocrinologist, states that when an organism’s well-being is threatened, it triggers a three-stage bodily response from these organisms which is; Alarm, Resistance and exhaustion.
In the alarm stage, the body of an organism perceives a threat and responds by activating the “Fight or flight” response. This response prepares this organism to either react or retreat. Hormones such as Cortisol, Adrenaline and corticotropin are released during this period and the body becomes on alert.
In the resistance stage, the body continues to fight this threat, blood pressure continues to increase and there is also an increased rate in the circulation of Cortisol and Corticotropin around the body.
In the exhaustion stage, the body reaches its limit and exhausts the resources it needs in fighting this threat. This leads to the collapse of the entire body system.
As little as you think this subject is, its impact on the world economy is very large. While stress is natural, it can lead to other health issues when not controlled or if responded to negatively.
Types of Stress
There are 3 primary types of Stress:
- Acute stress
- Episodic acute stress
- Chronic stress
Acute stress is short-lived. It’s the rush you get when you have a deadline approaching or just escaped a near-death situation. It can be positive.
Episodic acute stress is when acute stress happens rather often that the body has no time to return to its normal state.
Chronic stress occurs when stressors stay longer and occur frequently maybe as a result of quarrels with spouses or in a war situation.
There are numerous reasons that stress. Some of these reasons include; work overload, financial struggle, relationship stress, parenting pressure, peer pressure and examination pressure to mention but a few.
Signs of stress include; Anxiety, difficulty in remembering things, physical pain tension especially in the neck and shoulder, weight change, high blood pressure, headaches, massive mood swings, sleeping difficulties etc.
How To Deal With Stress
There are so many ways to deal with stress, but I will be listing some of the most effective ways to handle stress.
Recognise your breaking point
Most of us tend to ignore our burnout points. That particular stage in your life when you know that if you take a little step further, you might come rolling down the stairs like you did not take a step at all.
For us to be able to deal with stress, we have to recognise this point, know when we have reached it or when we are about to reach it and; take a well-deserved break.
During exercise, the body releases hormones like Endorphins and Dopamine. Endorphin blocks pain and increases the sensation of pleasure. Dopamine helps in regulating our heart rates, sleep cycle, mood etc. Exercise also helps in the supply of oxygen to the brain and relieves stress.
Meditation and self-care
Meditation has a lot of benefits to the human body and helps keep you calm, confident and focused. Meditation helps reduce stress and produce a sound mind. Constant self-care has been said to be able to relieve stress.
When you feel that is situation is beyond your control, one of the best options is to seek the help of a counsellor. These professionals know better than you do, with their help you can be able to suppress stress.
Get enough sleep
Sleep helps to boost your immune system, improve your mood, strengthen your heart and improve your memory. Lack of sleep can be very dangerous to the human body. Having enough sleep every day, can keep you in a better mood and relieve you of stress.
This is one of the most efficient ways of receiving stress. Yoga improves your mental health, helps you sleep, builds your self-confidence, reduces your anxiety and helps you manage/ attend to situations calmly.
Eat good food
Foods with lots of vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium help reduce stress. Apart from that, the reduction in the intake of alcohol and caffeine can help relieve stress too.
Therapies like Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and based stress reduction therapy can go a long way in the relieve stress.
if stress persists, it is advisable to visit a hospital for tests and assign a suitable means, according to the doctor’s advice to help you relieve yourself of stress.