The Science Behind: Stress
STRESS. We probably use this word every day but do we really take it seriously? Or do we just say it without knowing what it actually means?
In simple words, stress is the strain caused by a type of change (physical or emotional), and like every other issue, stress also has symptoms. Common symptoms of stress are
feeling overwhelmed, restless, moody, frustrated, unfocused, and/or worried. Apart from these, stress also has some physical symptoms, such as a lack of sleep or too much sleep, headaches, high blood pressure, appetite changes, and a weakened immune system. But why do we feel stressed?
HOW DOES STRESS OCCUR?
When we feel endangered, our brain releases stress hormones that include cortisol and adrenaline. It's like an alert in case of an emergency of any kind. We start breathing faster and heavier, our pulse quickens, our BP increases, and we start clenching our hands sometimes. We suddenly become more aware of our surroundings. All of this is so that we can act quickly and prepare for whatever the situation might be and its outcomes.
WHY IS IT BAD FOR OUR HEALTH?
Nearly every person today suffers or has suffered from stress at one point in their life but what makes it so bad? Stress has both emotional and physical effects on our body which already make it scary. If you have a heightened state of stress, you most likely will have a panic attack. When our body gets in survival mode it prepares itself for a life-or-death situation, triggering nearly every system in our body! Well, this might be good in some cases, such as when you have a deadline. But if it gets to a point where you start becoming anxious and feel restless all the time then you know it's quite bad. Everyone has their stress tolerance. Some of us can control our emotions while some are sensitive towards them. Once you cross your tolerance bar you become hyper nervous, which has very serious impacts on your body.
WHAT CAN TRIGGER STRESS?
It's better if you know what triggers you so that you can try to control it. As said earlier, everyone has their tolerance to stress but there are some common triggers to stress:
Pressure- Pressure to do something or the fear of failing at it can cause stress.
Facing big changes- An easy example of this is the time when Covid started and we all were quarantined; it was a really big change for all of us and most of us faced a lot of problems.
Feeling overwhelmed- Feeling too overwhelmed under certain circumstances, whether you are too excited or too nervous, can pull the trigger to your stress.
Too many problems- When we face too many problems in a situation it irritates us and we also have the fear of whether they are going to end or not.
Chronic medical conditions- Medical conditions that develop slowly or take a lot of time to recover from (maybe even a lifetime) often give us feelings of discomfort, worry, and stress.
Times of uncertainty- Feeling uncertain/unsure about things such as decisions you make, unexpected change (like the COVID-19 pandemic) can make you feel more vulnerable, which can cause stress.
HOW TO REDUCE STRESS
In the world of worries, we cannot just get rid of stress but what we can do is take small steps to reduce it.
Regular exercise- It has a lot of benefits: good health, good skin, a clear mind, and much more. Every single doctor recommends it! So just sweat all your worries out. :)
Meditate- You cannot reduce stress if you don't take time out for yourself. Even if it's for only 10 minutes, meditation is known to soothe your nervous system and gives you a sense of relief in many ways. If you feel like a lot of things are worrying you and causing stress, try standing up/sitting down (just be in contact with the floor/grass) and imagine pushing all those worries down to the ground. I have tried it personally… It sure works!
Eating foods/beverages that reduce stress- Gum, matcha, or other kinds of tea and citrus fruits like oranges can easily cool you down when you're feeling anxious.
Spend more alone time- Get to know yourself better and try to stay away from social media because it can be overwhelming sometimes. Try spending that time doing things that make you happy.
Therapy and Medication- If you think your stress is getting too much to handle, try consulting a doctor or getting other kinds of professional help. Stress can lead to extremely serious health conditions like depression, anxiety, etc. It is wisely said that prevention is better than cure.
[Please, don't stress too much.......or you will get wrinkles!]
That's it for now...............till my next article