What is stress and how is it dangerous?
Stress is a state of increased tension in the body as a protective reaction to the impact of adverse factors (physical, psychosocial).
Almost all people have experienced stress in their lives. A significant proportion regularly experience somatic symptoms associated with stress, without even realizing it.
Stress lies in wait for us everywhere-from an interview with an employer or a first date to a pile of unwashed laundry or a child’s illness. Stress itself is not always bad, because it allows us to invent individual ways to deal with life’s difficulties, makes us more mature, more seasoned, and smarter.
However, if stress is excessive or extremely prolonged, it can lead to exactly the opposite result, and turn our lives into a real nightmare. Stress that exceeds the adaptive capacity of the body is called distress. Distress leads to the breakdown of defense mechanisms and the occurrence of physical diseases.
Often we don’t think twice about whether all of what we do really needs to be done – or should we say to ourselves: “Stop”. We usually think that we are just doing what any normal person should be doing. This is exactly what can lead us to the path of chronic stress, rolled up in a gradually twisting tight spiral.
Stress is best recognized at the very beginning
otherwise, its level inside can grow to such an extent that neither work nor rest will be simply impossible. And this condition will very quickly lead you to think that you seem to be terminally ill.Here are the symptoms of stress that can be identified at the very beginning.
Inability to focus and concentrate;
Perception of mostly negative aspects of being;
Anxiety or a jump in thoughts;
Difficulties in making decisions;
Difficulties in learning new information;
Inability to plan your life;
Forgetfulness, lack of organizations.
Depression or a feeling of lack of happiness;
Low self-esteem: “I am lonely, insignificant”;
Feeling overwhelmed, losing control of your life;
Frequent tears, thoughts of suicide as a possible rest;
Irritability, short temper;
Agitation, inability to relax.
Physical (somatic) symptoms:
Nervousness, ” shivers”;
Muscle twitching, tremor;
Pain, hypertonia of muscles, spasms;
Diarrhea or constipation;
Chest pain, tachycardia, bradycardia;
Frequent colds and other infections;
Decreased sexual desire, potency, or ability to have sex;
Frequent belching, flatulence;
Unexplained attacks of ” allergies”;
Weight gain or loss in the absence of dietary changes;
Ringing, buzzing, clicking in the ears;
Cold or sweaty palms or feet;
Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing;
Jaw clenching, teeth grinding;
Acne (pustules on the skin);
Skin rash, itching;
Numbness of body parts;
Tingling sensation in various parts of the body;
Reduce overall energy levels;
Change in appetite;
Excessive or insufficient sleep;
Social isolation, isolation;
Acute reactions even to ordinary stimuli;
Defensive behavior or suspicion;
Obsessive or compulsive behavior;
Nervous behavior (nail biting, restlessness, constant movement);
Loss of the need to take care of your appearance, be punctual;
Stuttering, rapid or mumbling speech;
Procrastination, neglect of obligations, irresponsible behavior;
Use of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs in order to relax;
Lies or constant excuses to explain shortcomings and failures in your work;
Increase in the number of minor accidents or accidents that occur to a person;
Excessive gambling, impulsive and rash purchases;
Just because you have one or two symptoms on this list doesn’t mean you’re under stress, but the list makes it clear what stress can do if you don’t recognize it.
How do people respond to stress
People respond to stress in three different ways.
1. “Bey”. Reaction to stress in the form of excitement, readiness for a fight, in the form of aggression in order to eliminate the source of stress.
2. “Run”. Withdrawal, depression, withdrawal into yourself or your world, dissociation as a reaction to stress.
3. “Double” answer. The person is frozen in tension and has no way to express it. The ability to act is paralyzed, and inside the person is extremely tense.
How to manage stress
1. The most important way is to avoid unnecessary stress. Why do you need to get into a fight on a social network or in a queue? Why fly on vacation to a distant country, where, according to rumors, there is a change of power? Think twice when planning your actions, and especially when your emotions are driving you.
2. Try to change the situation. Get advice, call for help, pick up a stick – anything that will change the situation in your favor.
3. If the situation cannot be changed, try to adapt to the stressful factor. If the stressor is a person, look at the situation through their eyes and understand the reasons for their behavior. If the stress is caused by too much workload, try to find additional resources to gain strength. In any case, to adapt to a stressor, it’s best to tell someone who can listen about your situation. By repeating the situation over and over again, you will be able to see what was previously in the shadows. And maybe change your attitude to a stressful situation. A good resource is a way out of a situation with a complete change of environment, activity, and social circle. If there are no opportunities for such an exit, try to do something crazy right in your situation, something that you have never done before. This often allows you to get a new resource for adaptation.
4. Accept the things that you can’t change. Does your husband drink and not intend to quit, despite all your joint conversations and plans about this? Look at it with your eyes open and say to yourself: “Stop. That will never happen.” “Yes, I’m not pretty, but that’s no reason to be unhappy.” “Yes, I don’t have (someone or something) anymore, and most likely I never will. But there is my life, friends, work, etc.” ” This world is unfair to me. But he’s just as unfair to the sleepers. However, he gave me (so – and-so).” These are examples of accepting statements that, despite the painful processes of awareness and acceptance of the situation, have an extraordinary healing power, freeing up a large amount of resources and restoring the boundaries of the individual for further full life.
There are a few other ways to deal with stress that may seem secondary at first glance, but are actually quite effective:
Laughter. When the brain can no longer think, just distract yourself from the situation by watching some good comedy.
Massage. In a situation of stress, the body is tense and a massage of the back or feet helps to cope with this tension well.
A little time alone. Often the best way to gather your thoughts is to look at the situation in a new way. Take a shower, take a walk, sit in a cafe, take a nap, or just work alone. Hand the children over to your husband (wife, grandparent, nanny), and spend a few hours alone. This is a powerful resource for restoring internal balance.
Do something useful for yourself. Often the stress is amplified by the fact that you feel that the situation in your business, at your home, or your illness is out of control. Sometimes, paradoxically, in such a situation, it can help to cook dinner, go to the laundry, clean up the house, or get a manicure, hairstyle, or makeup done.
So, the main thing you need to learn is not to let stress take its course. Unrecognized stress reactions in the body eventually lead to significant difficulties in life and at work, and later – to somatic diseases.