Stress manifests itself as a body’s reaction to life’s demands, yet it also can involve many emotions in the mind. Both mental and physical actions take place if someone is under the effects of stress.
Mental health experts or therapists can very often help treat difficulties which are associated with someone who is trying to cope with raised stress levels.
How to Understand Stress
Stress has been labeled as America’s No1 health problem and is experienced in reaction to thoughts of job losses, finding other employment, the death of a partner or family member and interrelationship issues, many of which can be encountered on more than one occasion, in a person’s life.
There is another way in which stress can manifest itself, this is flight or fight syndrome and is a reaction which happens to threats which are physical in your life. These physical aspects can be increased flow of blood with clotting, raised heartbeat, higher blood pressure and higher blood sugar levels, yet none of these are controllable and can happen immediately. If these physical responses are encountered several times during a day due to bad traffic, work stress or family illness, there can be a likelihood of diabetes, chronic pain, hypertension, strokes and heart attacks.
You can also feel headaches, fatigue, and insomnia which are physical symptoms of stress and can lead to irritability, depression or anxiety.
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Do You Know What Causes Stress?
Life transitions and both negative and positive experiences can lead you to be stressed, the more common things which lead to stress are:
- Losing your job
- Relationship problems or Getting Divorced
- Getting married or having children
- Being a victim of discrimination
- Financial Problems
- Moving or Starting School/ Ending school
- Experiencing a major loss
- Becoming diagnosed with a serious illness
Many of these are everyday parts of life, yet not everyone will experience marriage, divorce or having children, but they may be victims of discrimination, losing their job or a breakup in relationships amongst others.
It is easy to see why stress can be part of everyone’s life, yet it can be easier to deal with if experienced in smaller quantities.
How Stress Affects Your Health
Not many people are able to say they have never been stressed at some point in their life, and for many, stress can be unbearable. If the levels of stress are high enough and continue for long periods, they can lead to physical and mental health issues, research has shown high levels of stress are linked to:
- Alcohol or Self-medicating with drugs
- A change in mental health
- Decreased enjoyment and productivity at work
- Less intimacy
- Migraines and headaches
- Chronic pain, strokes and Heart attacks
- Anger issues and Depression/ Anxiety
- Less enjoyment with social activities
Many of the above can decrease when the situation that causes the stress is resolved, yet there is a good chance stress can become serious if they continue, and you would require treatment from mental health professionals, therapists or a doctor.
Your Stress Therapy
If stresses in life lead you towards abusing drugs, little or no pleasure and major physical ailments, or if your overall well-being is being affected in a negative way, it can be very beneficial for you to meet with a therapist, or another mental health professional and receive treatment to resolve these symptoms and find the root causes of the stress.
A good therapist, can give you advice and tactics which you can follow, to help reduce stress which can affect either your mind, body or emotions:
- Crying or Laughing.
- Expressing your stress with writing or art.
- Discussing stressful events with a trusted person
- Engaging in relaxing activities like cooking, gardening or other hobbies
- Relax in a hot bath
- Deep breathing techniques
- Exercising such as yoga, dancing or running (can reduce stress for up to 12 hours)
- Meditating and Focusing on positives
- Advanced Planning
- Reality testing of any negative thoughts (see them for what they actually are)