What Is Stress? How an Evolutionary Necessity Can Damage Our Modern Lives
Many people are directly impacted by the effects of stress. That said, what is stress? Here, we examine how stress occurs, stress's influence on the body, some of the common causes of stress and natural methods for stress relief.
What is Stress?
In its simplest form, stress is a positive occurrence. Many medical professionals define stress as the body's way of properly reacting to added or unexpected emotional, physical or environmental tension. Stress can also be described as the body's efforts to employ itself with the chemical or physical tools necessary to respond to any given situation.
Why Does Stress Occur?
Though initially beneficial, repeated incidents of stress can, for most people, be the catalyst for a variety of physical and mental symptoms that can range in severity from minor to potentially life-threatening. Scientists and health professionals opine such circumstances might arise when the stricken person experiences more tension and burden than they are capable of handling.
The Symptoms of Stress
The continual exposure to heightened tension may precipitate numerous physical and mental manifestations. Physical symptoms could impact almost every bodily region such as the digestive system (nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, stomach cramps, constipation), the cardiovascular system (increased heart beat), the immune system (frequent instances of colds, the flu or other infections) and general malaise manifestations such as headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and tension and insomnia.
Mental symptoms could include nervousness, anxiety, depression and mood disturbances. Stress might also impact specific cognitive mental functions like concentration, memory loss, uncontrolled negative thoughts and the potential to display questionable judgment.
It is important to note that stress could manifest differently for each person. Therefore, other unexplained or emerging symptoms could be precipitated by tension. Moreover, stress might also exacerbate existing medical problems.
The Causes of Stress
Just as stress might manifest in a host of physical and mental symptoms, the conditions could be caused by any one or in combination of personal, financial and environmental causes.
Almost everyone who works is subjected to demands, deadlines and expectations. Satisfying these issues can be tension-filled and time-consuming and result in people spending long hours at their jobs, which might cause them to lose sleep and neglect their physical and mental health.
Merely worrying about the safety and well-being of one's children on a daily basis could be stressful for some. That said, several personal circumstances might elicit added tension and manifest in stress-related symptoms such as experiencing a divorce caring for a loved one stricken with a serious illness, being diagnosed with a significant health malady or bearing concern over a spouse or partner's fidelity.
Money, or the lack thereof, can be a significant cause of stress. Financial difficulties often arise following a job loss, illness or poor investment.
Certain individuals might feel embarrassed by their appearance and experience great mental and emotional apprehension regarding such aesthetic quality. Others might be stricken with anxiety and social phobias that manifest in stress-related health issues when they are forced to interact with people.
Loss of a Loved One
The death of a family member, close friend or professional associate could not only produce mental and emotional turmoil but potentially also impact said individual's personal or financial comforts thus resulting in the presence of stress-related symptoms.
There are some people who have experienced or witnessed serious trauma in their past. Individuals such as war veterans, concentration camp survivors and adults who were subjected to physical or sexual abuse as children may suffer from a plethora of physical and emotional stress manifestations.
Natural Stress-Coping Methods
Fortunately, stress can be controlled and its effect potentially reduced by employing any one or more of the following natural methods:
Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
A diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in potentially damaging substances like sugar, fat and salt could strengthen the immune system and provide the body with greater energy levels. Regular exercise not only strengthens the body by increasing muscle mass and eliminating fat but also provides a healthy outlet for stress and tension.
This type of remedial protocol can help a participant identify the specific activities or behaviors that cause them to experience symptom-manifesting stress.
Practices that help relax both the body and mind are recommended as bonafide stress busters by some members of the medical community. Such endeavors include acupuncture, meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga.
Some health professionals opine that waiting until the last minute to accomplish tasks is a surefire way to increase one's stress levels.
Individuals can avoid procrastination by establishing goals and gradually taking steps to accomplish them.
Partake in Enjoyable Activities
Stress might be reduced by participating in an activity one enjoys. Such endeavors could include spending time with friends and families, partaking in a fun hobby or listening to music.
Augment Diet With Natural Supplements
There are many plant extracts and other naturally-occurring substances that are believed to contain stress-reducing properties. Some of these products include passion flower, avena sativa, maca, eleuthero and lavender. One such popular supplement containing therapeutic dosages of all of these substances is Macabido. Macabido is clinically proven to reduce stress, as well as provide other health benefits.