Stress is something which we all experience; being humans it comes naturally. However, we’ve all been told that stress can lead to many health risks such as high blood pressure, stomachache, headache, and hair loss. What matters is how good you are at taking control of yourself so as not to let it affect your health badly.
Not all types of stress can be considered as negative effects. Sometimes stress can turn into a positive force helping you to perform well at a presentation or maybe even a job interview. But it can have a negative effect on you if you get depressed easily or are in the habit of getting angry very often. Try not to sulk if you’re stranded in a traffic jam; smile and be grateful there’s no cyclone coming!
Natural Signs of Stress
Do you feel you have clammy hands if you’re out on your own or your heartbeat starts to increase while watching a horror movie? Rest assured this is your knowing the feeling of stress in both your mind as well as body. In olden times, for our ancestors, this was an automated protective response to the possible threat of predators approaching. Now we experience it just by watching a predator on the TV screen. Actually, in dangerous situations, hormones flood into our body increasing our heart rate, blood pressure, energy and help us to deal with the situation.
Nowadays, you don’t really stand the risk of being eaten by wild animals but your body will react the same way when faced with challenges – meeting deadlines, bill payments and taking care of your children.
Even experiencing minor stress for short periods of time could produce a bad impact, like having stomach problems in the event of a stage presentation. So what does one say about major acute stress? Stress stimulated by having a quarrel with your beloved spouse, experiencing an earthquake or being attacked by thieves could result in an even bigger impact.
Emotional stresses, like anger, can result in heart attacks, arrhythmias as well as sudden death. Even though this may mostly occur in heart patients, sometimes you may not even know that you are in danger until some kind of acute stress leads to a heart attack or worse.
Being a parent is a job which needs your attention the whole day, every day, all year so it’s normal to feel you’re burning out. Life is full of stress and if you have a number of children, a job, other dependent relatives, and pets, all of these can combine and increase your stress and burnout levels.
Raising children is a difficult task and it takes a lot of time for children to learn new skills and behaviors. Parenting DOES require patience. With a busy life, patience is difficult to maintain. Trying to be the best parent adds to stress levels and leads to burnout.
Having a family should enable us to lead a healthy fulfilling life and the key to dealing parent burnout is a balance. Burning out will have negative effects on your children and others living with you. It will leave you irritable, withdrawn, and resentful. So just be aware of your limits. You can still be patient and say “no” when you have to.
When you discover that you are no longer able to live a normal life due to repeated bouts of stress for long periods, know that you have entered the red zone. This type of stress is the worst thing for your mind and body. Examples of this may include feelings of fatigue, lack of concentration, being easily irritated etc. but chronic stress will lead to your body deteriorating too.
Stress does not solve problems but only makes them worse. Chronic stress contributes to disease. Body changes occur when people resort to overeating, smoking, drinking, etc., as ways of dealing with stress. Various kinds of chronic stress, like depression and reduced levels of social support, are known to have contributed to cardiovascular risk. Sick people who are suffering from stress find it difficult to recover.
Dealing with Stress
Lowering your stress levels will not only enhance your mood but also help to protect your heart and your health generally for longer periods of time. The best way to reduce stress is to take a little time every day to do enjoyable activities. Other ways include:
Identifying stress causes
Pay attention to your state of mind and when you feel stressed, keep a record of the cause, your mood and thoughts at that particular time. Once you understand the problem, form a plan to deal with it. That might mean feeling more appreciative or confident about yourself or asking for outside help with household chores, job assignments and other responsibilities. Make a list of your routine work, consider what really matters and get rid of any meaningless tasks.
Control your anger
Try to take control of your anger, it’s much better to remain silent and count up to 10. Going for a walk or doing some exercise can help you get rid of your anger. Exercise is a good way of enhancing endorphins, the natural way of making you feel physically better. Daily walks or exercise have a strong effect in lowering stress levels.
Forming good relationships
One of the most common causes of stress is relationships. Having a fight with your beloved spouse may well lead to changes in stress-sensitive hormones. But having good relationships would also serve to cure your stress problems. You should be able to talk to your family and friends about your problems. You never know they may be more than willing to offer you help and support. Give you useful ideas or just help by pointing out a fresh start towards dealing with your stress problem.
Lack of sleep also contributes to stress. Doctors recommend seven or eight hours of sleep daily. For this, you will require caffeine reduction, to remove your laptop and TV from your bedroom in order to ensure proper sleep. Yoga and other relaxation exercises help in lowering stress and improving immune functioning.
Getting in touch with a psychologist or other health professional is a very good way of managing stress effectively. A good doctor can assist you in identifying situations or behaviors which are responsible for your chronic stress and how to deal with them.
Staying stressful over long periods of time can prove to be chronic – so it’s important to start becoming serious about this.