Today’s fast pace of life causes each of us to experience stress on a daily basis. It can be short-term stress that passes with the end of a difficult situation for us, or long-term stress that will have a negative impact on the human body.
Sources of tension can be work, studies, bad relationships in the family and difficulties in interpersonal relations in general, fatigue and overload of responsibilities, traumatic events, and the vast amount of information delivered from all sides. Everyone experiences nervousness differently and has a different threshold for stress levels. Although the times in which we live lead to feelings of intense tension, stress has been known to mankind since the dawn of time.
We can explain stress as an innate defense mechanism that allows us to survive under very difficult conditions. Thus, it is the body’s reaction to events and demands (both physical and mental) that we have to face. Depending on the situation, stress can have a beneficial or negative effect on the human body. We consider stress hormones to be adrenaline, cortisol, vasopressin and prolactin, among others. The amount of these hormones determines whether stress will have an adverse or mobilizing effect on our health.
Positive stress and negative stress
Short-term stress is designed to mobilize us in situations of potential danger. Thus, it appears in any situation that requires us to find a quick solution. Of course, it affects our health, because during this time our body produces a much higher amount of adrenaline, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Adrenaline motivates us to act, causes our heart rate to accelerate and our pupils to dilate, in other words – the body prepares itself for a fight.
The agitation we feel during this time can be used in ways that are beneficial and creative for us. It is largely up to us whether we treat the stress in this situation as a burden or as a challenge, such as at work or school.
Negative stress is called long-term stress (or chronic stress) that negatively affects a person’s health. Even moderate stress sustained over a long period of time can deplete the body’s resources and cause the appearance of effects that are distant in time. Chronic stress adversely affects the nervous system and physical health. Prolonged stress can cause many serious diseases.
Effects of stress on the body and nervous system
A symptom of prolonged and severe stress is the disruption of our nervous system. Stress causes the psyche to be the first to fail – the so-called mood swings, anxiety, trouble concentrating, neurosis and even depression appear – all caused by prolonged stress and strong emotions associated with difficult events for us.
. Then the whole body begins to refuse to obey. Disorders of the cardiovascular and digestive systems can occur, as well as a lowering of immunity. Disturbing symptoms of prolonged tension include palpitations and sleep disturbances. Excessive stress can cause the development of cardiovascular diseases and increase the risk of heart attack.
In many people, stress can cause headaches and lower abdominal pain, as well as chest pain, which often prompt patients to see a specialist for fear that it’s a heart attack.
Ways to deal with stress
People who are exposed to long-term stress should realize that it is an adverse health factor and take care to offset stress with lifestyle.
What are the ways to reduce stress?
The most effective in getting rid of stress will be to create conditions for proper development and psychosocial functioning. The possibility of social support and the right atmosphere at home, work or school positively affects the work of our body. Good relationships with other people, as well as knowledge of the rules of conduct in interpersonal relations can increase our resistance to stress. Being aware of the support we have and being able to talk to or hug a loved one helps regulate emotions and thus reduce stress levels.
It turns out that the key ways to reduce stress are also rest, recuperation and entertainment, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle. So it’s worth taking a look at the meals you eat and see if they implement the principles of proper nutrition. Likewise, it is important to keep in mind adequate physical activity.
The simplest and easiest activity is simply walking. So, it’s worth buying a watch and checking if we take 10tys, steps per day. Let’s not forget that a healthy lifestyle is also about proper nutrition, attention to rest and adequate length of sleep.
Dealing with stress is a very individual issue. There is no single effective method for dealing with chronic stress and its effects on health. Keep in mind that a different method may work for everyone, so it is worth observing your body and choosing the best solution for you.
If the above methods do not work, it is worth seeking the help of a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.