Between work, family, relationships, and other commitments, it is hard not to get stressed once in a while. Stress is the way your body reacts to certain situations. It is subjective, meaning something stressful for you may not be stressful for someone else. It affects your physical and mental health as well as your behavior. When you are stressed, your body produces chemicals and hormones, your heart rate increases, your brain works faster, and you have a sudden rush of energy.
Although it is impossible to live completely without stress, you can learn to manage it. Managing stress can be complicated because there are several different types of stress, so to be able to manage stress, it is important to know each type.
It is the most common type of stress. It’s the reaction of your body to upcoming challenge, event, or demand. In small doses, it can be thrilling and exciting. In fact, it might actually be healthy for you since these stressful situations can train your brain to develop the best response to future situations. For example, riding on a roller coaster or a fast run down a challenging ski slope. However, too much can be exhausting, such as a constant argument with a family member or an automobile accident. The most common symptoms of acute stress are:
- Emotional distress, such as anger, anxiety, or irritability
- Tension headache, back pain, and jaw pain
- Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, acid stomach
- Rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, dizziness, cold hands, chest pain, shortness of breath.
Episodic Acute Stress
Some people suffer from acute stress frequently, something always seems to go wrong in their lives and they always seem to be having a crisis. When acute stress occurs frequently, it is known as episodic acute stress. People with episodic acute stress are often short-tempered, irritable, and anxious. People who tend to be pessimistic and see the negative side of everything may also have episodic acute stress. It may be hard for people with episodic acute stress to change their lifestyle as they accept stress as a part of their lives. The symptoms of this type of stress may include persistent tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, and heart disease.
Chronic stress happens when acute stress is not resolved and lasts for a long period of time. This type of stress does not go away. It can be caused by a dysfunctional family, work, poverty, or an unhappy relationship. Chronic stress can be very damaging to your health since it can contribute to several serious diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, and cancer.
Of course, it is impossible to get rid of stress, but you can learn to manage it. Managing stress is important to stay healthy. Learning how to manage it takes practice, but you need to do it or your mental and physical health may suffer. Here are some ways to cope with stress:
- Find support by talking to other people because it can get your problems off your chest.
- Eat healthily, exercise more and get an adequate amount of sleep.
- Do not isolate yourself after a stressful event, connect socially.
- Take a break from what is causing the stress and plan some downtime.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Relax your muscles by enjoying a massage or taking a hot bath.
- Take a few deep breaths to take the pressure off you.
- Go easy on yourself. Accept that you cannot control everything in your life and that you cannot do everything perfectly no matter how hard you try.
- Make time for your hobbies and try to do something every day that will make you feel good.
If you do all the things mentioned above, you may be able to eliminate your stress and live a healthier life both mentally and physically.