Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It leaves you feeling angry, nervous and frustrated. Stress is the body’s reaction to demand. It can help you avoid danger and challenges. It is not all bad, as it can help you rise to challenges.
It keeps you on your toes during presentations at work. It keeps you out of bed when it is time to attend to certain things. It drives you to read for an exam when you could be watching TV.
However, when stress remains constant in your life, it becomes negative. Stress becomes bad for you when challenges become regular without a sign of relief or relaxation. Stress that continues without relief can lead to distress and this is a negative reaction to the body. It can disturb the body’s internal balance or equilibrium, leading to headaches, pains etc.
There are two causes of stress - the external and internal.
External Causes of Stress
1. Family issues.
2. Relationship issues.
3. Poor health.
4. Work related stress.
5. Money issues.
Internal Causes of Stress
1. Inability to accept uncertainty.
2. Negative talk to yourself.
3. Pessimism etc.
Signs of stress include nausea, dizziness, pain, headaches etc. There are signs and symptoms of overload stress and they are divided into four parts, which are the emotional symptoms, cognitive symptoms, physical symptoms and behavioural symptoms.
1. Behavioural symptoms
Behavioural symptoms include the use of drugs and alcohol to relax, nervous habits (nail biting and twisting your fingers or toes), neglecting the important things, weight loss or gain, loss of appetite or eating more.
2. Emotional symptoms
Depression, anxiety, mood swings, anger, feeling empty, isolation, mental and emotional problems.
3. Physical symptoms
Physical symptoms include dizziness, cold, low sex drive, aches, and headaches.
4. Cognitive symptoms
Memory loss, low concentration, poor judgement, anxiety or racing thoughts. Constant worrying.
How to reduce and manage stress
1. Try meditating once in a while.
2. Create time for relaxation.
3. Seek help.
4. Make time for an interest, look for new hobbies.
5. Exercise regularly.
6. Accept that there will be events/situations that you cannot control.
7. Be more assertive. Assert your feelings, beliefs, and opinions instead of being angry.