The acceleration of the rhythm of modern life has led to a significant increase in the physical, mental, emotional load on a person, due to everyday problems, interpersonal relationships, the content of professional activity, information overload . Quite often, a person has to be in a state of emotional stress, experience a feeling of heightened anxiety, anxiety, self-doubt, i.e. experience the so-called STRESS . Such states are often accompanied not only by mental imbalance, but also by a number of negative changes in the functioning of physiological mechanisms in the human body. According to the WHO, up to 40% of the world’s population needs the help of medical specialists.
WHAT IS STRESS, WHAT ARE CAUSES AND FACTORS
The term ” stress ” (translated from English stress) means “pressure, pressure, tension.”
According to the Big Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language, ” Stress is a state of tension in the human or animal body as a defensive reaction to various adverse factors (cold, starvation, physical and mental trauma, etc.).”
At its core, stress is the response of the human body to overstrain, negative and positive emotions. During stress, the human body produces the hormone adrenaline, which makes us look for a way out. Stress in small amounts is needed by everyone, as it makes you think, look for a way out of the problem, and in this case it has a positive meaning. But on the other hand, if there is too much stress, the body weakens, loses strength, the ability to solve problems and can cause serious illness.
Stress can be categorized into:
- Positive and negative – according to the degree of emotional coloring.
- Short-term and long-term (or acute and chronic) – by duration.
- Physiological and psychological – the latter, in turn, are subdivided into informational and emotional due to their occurrence.
Sources of stress can be:
External ones – moving to a new place of residence, changing jobs, death of a loved one, divorce, everyday troubles associated with money problems, fulfilling obligations by a certain date, disputes, family relations, lack of sleep.
Internal – a revision of life values and beliefs, a change in personal self-esteem, etc.
The causes and factors causing stress (psychologists call them stressors) are varied and numerous:
- changes in life (vacation, new job, marriage, divorce, etc.);
- any strong emotion;
- physical injury, surgery, disease;
- sudden changes in temperature, etc.
Any kind of change, even positive one, forces us to adapt to new circumstances. But with all the variety of experiences and shock situations that occur in our life, the body’s response to any stress is essentially the same – in the body, biochemical processes developed many centuries ago are launched, the purpose of which is to cope with an extreme situation. Over time, the effects of stressors accumulate and accumulate. The more of them in our life during a given period, the higher our stress level will be.
The body’s defense response to ongoing or repeated exposure to a stressor goes through three distinct stages.
- In the first stage – the reaction of anxiety (in response to irritation, regardless of its nature), there is an activation of all systems of the body.
- In the second stage – the stage of resistance (resistance, stability), the body begins to adapt to the continuing action of the stressor.
- The third stage – the stage of exhaustion, occurs with prolonged exposure to a stressor. The energy required for adaptation is depleted, the overall resistance of the body drops sharply. If assistance is not provided during this period, the stage of exhaustion can result in serious illness and even death.
SYMPTOMS OF STRESS AND POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF IT
Symptoms may gradually increase or come on suddenly, over a few minutes. Attacks of anxiety, anxiety, panic attacks appear , which usually do not last long, proceed in the form of emotional outbursts, accompanied by a feeling of horror and such reactions of the body as increased heart rate and sweating. Anxiety usually develops gradually. Symptoms can also include muscle tension, fatigue, irritability, impatience, insomnia or sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, low mood, or, conversely, overexcitement, anger, memory impairment, increased fatigue, etc.
Stress are the main risk factors for the onset and exacerbation of many diseases: cardiovascular (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, hypertension), gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer), decreased immunity.
Not only strong, acute, but also small, but long-term stressful effects lead to negative reactions. Therefore, prolonged psychological stress, depression can also lead to illness.
Treatment of stress with medication is indicated only as directed by a physician . Taking into account the patient’s condition, the doctor may prescribe sedatives (drugs that reduce nervous tension and anxiety, as well as reduce the feeling of fear) or tranquilizers (drugs that help relieve emotional stress).
METHODS AND PRINCIPLES OF OVERCOMING STRESS
We each have our own level of stress, which is determined by hereditary and other factors, and our level of attitude and response to stress.
Different people respond to stress in different ways: some begin to absorb unthinkable amounts of food, others completely lose their appetite; some have difficulty falling asleep at night, while others feel sleepy even during the day.
The basic principles of coping with stress include:
Distraction from a stressful situation – if what is happening makes a strong impression on a person and after that he continues to think about it, then thereby he “gets stuck” in a stressful situation and does not think about how to resolve it, but constantly worries about the events that have occurred . To distract yourself from a stressful situation, you need to think about something else related to pleasant sensations and experiences (rest, pleasant event, personal achievements).
Reducing the subjective significance of the event that caused stress – to reconsider your attitude to what happened according to the principle: “What is not done is for the better …”.
Active behavior – not to keep in yourself the surging feelings and emotions that caused stress, but to throw out the accumulated energy outward by doing some even unthinkable business (for example, washing the window or floor with a toothbrush, wiping clean dishes, etc.); as well as playing sports, playing football, volleyball, etc.
Relaxation – Stress causes general tension and an increase in the frequency of brain waves. Relaxation, on the other hand, reduces their frequency, which leads to a decrease in the level of excitation of the central nervous system.
Positive thinking – a positive way of thinking and the associated positive emotions of kindness, love, joy – is the main personal tool for ensuring health and well-being.
Other ways to relieve stress and maintain mental health include the following:
In any situation, one should remain optimistic.
Strive for reasonable organization in life, work, everyday life.
Learn to say no to yourself, not to take on the solution of too many problems, especially those of others, by defining the boundaries of your own capabilities.
Learn to enjoy life.
Don’t be a maximalist.
Do not delve into your past and, moreover, do not regret what you did not do or did wrong.
Observe the correct diet, sleep and rest.
Do not abuse alcohol, refrain from bad habits.
Lead a healthy active lifestyle , engaging in daily physical exercises and self-massage of the head, neck, shoulders, and feet.
If necessary – a decrease in the pace of life and a revision of some life positions.
Remember! It is impossible to completely eliminate stressful situations from life, but you can live and work in such a way as to reduce their number to a minimum, minimize their consequences and thereby preserve health for many years.