Stress is an inevitable part of life and is actually a good thing. Stress can act as a great motivator in getting things done. Remember how easy it is to finish an assignment that you started weeks ago, just before the deadline. It is not possible to lead a stress-free life, because it is a response to the challenges that life throws at you.
But we have a habit of letting in unnecessary stress into our lives.
Even short-term stress can cause noticeable physical symptoms like headache, irritability, and fatigue. If not addressed properly, long-term stress can lead to serious health conditions. Stress can have a deep impact on your mental health and physical health.
Identifying and understanding a problem is the first step towards eliminating it. There are several ways in which stress affect your life without you being none the wiser.
Here are a few facts about stress that will help you to understand how it is affecting your life:
- The three areas of your life that cause the most amount of stress in your life is money, work, and relationships.
- Hypertension induced by stress can compromise your immune system. In worst case scenarios stress can lead to cardiac disease, inflammatory disease, and even cancer.
- Stress can literally break your heart. Stress can lead to a condition called broken heart syndrome or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. This condition occurs when stress hormones overflow the heart causing the bottom part of the heart to swell up like a balloon.
- Stress can cause various sleep disorders like insomnia. The sleep disorder is caused by the presence of stress hormones which keep your body in high alert causing it to remain awake.
- Stress does not cause gray hair. But a high amount of stress can incite hair loss. If you are experiencing inexplicable hair loss, stress could be a reason.
- Stress is capable of killing your brain cells. Whereas a calm environment promotes its growth.
- Women are more prone to stress than men.
- Stress can take a toll on your digestive system, causing stomach upset, diarrhea, and excessive urination.
- Acne breakouts are common among people who are stressed out most of the time.
- Stress can wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle. Many women report missing their period due to stress.
- People who experience a lot of stress are more likely to end up as substance abusers.
- Bad diet can worsen your stress problem.
How To Manage Stress
- Exercise regularly – Exercise is the best way to bring down stress. Physical activity can produce endorphins, a type of chemical which acts as a natural painkiller, which helps in improving mental fitness and reducing stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
- Breathing Exercises – The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress. These exercises are quite easy to learn and can be done anywhere anytime to relax as they do not need any special equipment. Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation go hand in hand in releasing pent up tension in the body.
- Feel good activities – Pleasurable activities release feel-good hormones like dopamine which helps to beat stress. Laughter is a very good activity that lowers the presence of cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones that aggravate the stress hormones.
- A simple activity like listening to music can help to bring stress levels down.
- Talking to friends and family is a great way of bringing down stress.
- Eating a well-balanced meal can lift your spirits.
- Keep a positive attitude – sometimes the way you think about things can make all of the difference. Your attitude can help offset difficult situations.
- Meditation/Yoga has a very positive impact on dealing with stress.
- Learning to manage time properly and keeping aside some time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation will help in managing stress.
- Getting enough rest and sleep is important in managing stress because your body needs some down time to recover from stressful events.
Also Read: Ten processed foods to avoid at any cost