Job Loss And Unemployment Stress
Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.
What Is Stress And How Does It Affect Our Brains And Bodies
Stress is our reaction to a threatening event or stimulus. Such events and stimuli are called stressors. People perceive and react to stressors differently. Something one person would rate as highly stressful might be rated as considerably less stressful by someone else. These responses are affected by such factors as genetics and life experiences.
Stress can be classified as positive, tolerable or toxic. Toxic stress occurs when we are faced with a continuous stressor or triggered by multiple sources and can have a cumulative toll on our physical and mental health. It is an experience that overwhelms us and leaves us feeling powerless and hopeless.
What Are Some Ways To Prevent Stress
Many daily strategies can help you keep stress at bay:
- Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
- Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
- Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
- Accept that you cant control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
- Learn to say no to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesnt become overwhelming.
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Sexuality And Reproductive System
Stress is exhausting for both the body and mind. Its not unusual to lose your desire when youre under constant stress. While short-term stress may cause men to produce more of the male hormone testosterone, this effect doesnt last.
If stress continues for a long time, a mans testosterone levels can begin to drop. This can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase risk of infection for male reproductive organs like the prostate and testes.
For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. It can lead to irregular, heavier, or more painful periods. Chronic stress can also magnify the physical symptoms of menopause.
Are You Stressed About Your Finances
Financial stress can affect nearly every facet of your life, this we know. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve experienced some level of financial stress yourself or you know someone who has. While we can agree that it affects you in some way, do you know exactly HOW financial stress can affect you physically? If you constantly find yourself consumed with how much money you have and how you’re going to keep a roof over your head, get to work, and possibly feed your family, then you could certainly develop one of several stress-related health conditions. If these conditions go unnoticed or untreated it could even result in very serious, sometimes life-threatening illnesses.
We’re not saying that you should ignore your finances by any means. In fact, tackling them head-on and as soon as you’re able is something we highly encourage. Of course, you should be concerned if you’re having difficulty paying your bills. Being concerned about your finances is the best way to have a good handle on them keep them under control. Our hope is that you recognize the point at which worrying about your finances progresses into stressing about your finances in an unhealthy way. It’s imperative that you understand the effects of financial stress so that you are aware of the risks involved in continuing to foster financial stress in lieu of seeking help with your debts.
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How Does Stress Affect Pregnancy
It is normal to feel stressed during pregnancy. Your body and your hormones are changing, and you may worry about your baby and the changes he or she will bring to your life. But too much stress during pregnancy can hurt you and your babys health.
Stress during pregnancy can make normal pregnancy discomforts, like trouble sleeping and body aches, even worse. It can also lead to more serious problems, such as:
- Depression. Depression during pregnancy or after birth can affect your babys development. .
- Problems eating . Women who are or who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at risk for , including premature delivery and . Get a personalized recommendation on how much weight to gain during pregnancy.
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy puts you at risk of a serious condition called , premature delivery, and having a low-birth-weight infant .
Talk to your doctor about your stress, and to help manage your stress. Learn about too.
How Is Stress Diagnosed
Stress is subjective not measurable with tests. Only the person experiencing it can determine whether it’s present and how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
If you have chronic stress, your healthcare provider can evaluate symptoms that result from stress. For example, high blood pressure can be diagnosed and treated.
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How Does Stress Affect Sleep
We all feel stress from time to time. Its a natural reaction that can be triggered by a variety of situations, and youre certainly not alone if youve ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed and anxious because of difficult events in your life. In fact, a 2021 survey by Statistics Canada revealed that 27.5% of Canadians aged 35 to 49 years considered most of their days to be quite a bit or extremely stressful.
Although its completely normal to feel stressed, leaving these feelings unmanaged for long periods of time can be detrimental to your wellbeing. Here, well discuss what stress actually is and what you can do to combat it.
What Makes Us Stressed
Many things that can lead to stress: bereavement, divorce or separation, losing a job or unexpected money problems. Work-related stress can also have a negative impact on your mental health. People affected by work-related stress lose an average of 24 days of work due to ill health.
Even positive life changes, such as moving to a bigger house, gaining a job promotion or going on holiday can be sources of stress. If you feel stressed in these situations you may struggle to understand why or be unwilling to share your feelings with others.
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How To Combat Stress Eating
The daily demands of work and home life and even the constant presence of electronic devices puts people at a high risk for stress eating, Dr. Albers says.
The best way to combat stress or emotional eating is to be mindful of what triggers stress eating and to be ready to fight the urge.
If you are someone who is prone to emotional eating, know your triggers, know what stresses you out and be prepared, Dr. Albers says.
Part of being prepared is to arm yourself with healthy snacks, Dr. Albers says. Then if you feel the need to snack, you will at least nourish your body.
Helping to regulate your blood sugar throughout the day is going to keep your body stable and your emotions on a much better playing field, she adds.
Its also a good idea to keep things at your workspace that will help reduce anxiety, like a stress ball. Or try taking a five-minute break every once in a while to close your eyes and take some deep breaths.
Regular exercise and making sure you get enough sleep every night also can help you to better handle the challenges that come up every day, she says.
How Much Stress Is Too Much
Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, its important to know your own limit. But just how much stress is too much differs from person to person. Some people seem to be able to roll with lifes punches, while others tend to crumble in the face of small obstacles or frustrations. Some people even thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.
Factors that influence your stress tolerance level include:
Your support network. A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against stress. When you have people you can count on, lifes pressures dont seem as overwhelming. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your risk of succumbing to stress.
Your sense of control. If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, its easier to take stress in stride. On the other hand, if you believe that you have little control over your lifethat youre at the mercy of your environment and circumstancesstress is more likely to knock you off course.
Your attitude and outlook. The way you look at life and its inevitable challenges makes a huge difference in your ability to handle stress. If youre generally hopeful and optimistic, youll be less vulnerable. Stress-hardy people tend to embrace challenges, have a stronger sense of humor, believe in a higher purpose, and accept change as an inevitable part of life.
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Central Nervous And Endocrine Systems
Your central nervous system is in charge of your fight or flight response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rev up your heartbeat and send blood rushing to the areas that need it most in an emergency, such as your muscles, heart, and other important organs.
When the perceived fear is gone, the hypothalamus should tell all systems to go back to normal. If the CNS fails to return to normal, or if the stressor doesnt go away, the response will continue.
Chronic stress is also a factor in behaviors such as overeating or not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal.
How Does Financial Stress Affect Your Health
Financial stress affects your health in many ways and these health issues can affect your home life, career and make it feel that is impossible to ever turn things around. If any of these effects of stress are causing you duress, please, consult your physician immediately.
Two of the most common effects of financial stress are anxiety and depression. These two conditions usually go hand-in-hand. Each one is a debilitating condition that makes it hard to focus at work, spend time with your family, and keep up with your bills and other financial responsibilities. The stress of having too much credit card debt, college loan payments, or medical bills can weigh on a person and cause severe anxiety and depression. If you are behind financially and are feeling discouraged and hopeless or have feelings of constant worry and poor concentration, you may be seeing signs of one of these disorders.
Anxiety can manifest in many ways, but most people that suffer with it report panic attacks where their chest feels like it’s tightening, it becomes difficult to breathe, and it’s often coupled with the inescapable sense of impending doom- the idea that something terrible is happening, it’s growing, and it won’t go away. Anxiety is mental as well as physical. Even if you aren’t in the throes of a panic attack, you may still be experiencing racing and unwanted thoughts, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and a rapid heartbeat.
- Heart Disease/Attack
- Substance Abuse
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Differentiate Between Distress & Eustress
There are two forms of stress distress and eustress. The first refers to negative stress that causes mental and physical problems, while the second refers to positive stress that motivates you to improve your performance. So, if you realize that what youre experiencing is eustress, use it to your advantage to achieve your goals both inside and outside the classroom. As for distress, start by accepting that stress happens to everyone you are not the only person dealing with it. Stressing over your stress only aggravates the situation.
So What Can We Do About Stress
You want to avoid all these, right? Us too! Luckily, small changes are easy to try. We even have a nifty list! Lets get started:
Get giggling. Make silly faces with the family, have a staring contest, watch videos of babies and puppies whatever gets your belly moving, try blowing off some steam with some laughs! Bonus points if you laugh till you cry.
Lets list. Making a list can help you decide whats actually important to do today so you dont feel buried all the time. Added bonus? Youll feel a sense of accomplishment when you cross things off as done. We can practically hear you saying aaaahhhhh already.
- Find a friend. Take a 60-second social break to message someone with a Hello! And hey, if it turns into a longer chat, we wont tell!
- Move more. Movement is good for your heart and your mind. Dance like crazy to get the funk out, try hula hooping, briskly walk around the block and listen to the birds, or take that hip-hop class youve always wanted to try. Bonus points if you laugh while youre moving!
- Get your butt in bed. Getting enough sleep can help you feel less cranky and overwhelmed, and more productive and creative. If you want all that, you gotta get to bed earlier! Turn off the screen, you can binge-watch your show and earn more XP tomorrow. Sleep experts suggest aiming for about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.4 See you in the morning, sunshine!
De-stressing shouldnt stress you out. Which one are you going to try now: giggling, socializing or moving?
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What Are Some Strategies For Stress Relief
You cant avoid stress, but you can stop it from becoming overwhelming by practicing some daily strategies:
- Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
- At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what youve accomplished not what you didnt get done.
- Set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
- Consider talking to a therapist or your healthcare provider about your worries.
Untreated Anxiety Disorders And Depression
Untreated anxiety disorders can lead to serious depression. Depressive illness is common about 17% of Australians will suffer from depression at some time in their life.Depression is about twice as common in women as in men. The most common time in life for people to suffer from depression is in their 40s. However, it can develop at any age. Depression is often associated with an increased incidence of suicide. The annual suicide rate for people with depression is three or four times higher than that of other psychiatric disorders.
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Are Student Loans Causing You Financial Stress
Student loan debt is another concern that is rapidly increasing. Student loan debt topples credit card debt for Americans and it is now the second largest form of debt in the country. Recent college graduates spend tens of thousands of dollars in the hopes that they will graduate into the work force and begin a lucrative career in their field. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many twenty-somethings. In fact, according to Forbes.com, about one-third of millennials regret going to college because of the debt they’ve found themselves in upon graduating. It’s becoming all too common a story that a student graduates, cannot find a job in their field , and is required to make monthly payments on their loans that they cannot afford. The average student has $37k in debt. These graduates had very little time to save in their college years, and are now responsible for their own bills which also need to be paid in order to survive. Talk about stress!
Who Is Affected By Stress
All of us can probably recognise some of the feelings described above. Some people seem to be more affected by stress than others. For some people, getting out of the door on time each morning can be a very stressful experience, whereas others may be less affected with a great deal of pressure.
Some people are more likely to experience stressful situations than others. For example:
- people with a lot of debt or financial insecurity are more likely to be stressed about money
- people from minority ethnic groups or who are LGBTIQ+ are more likely to be stressed about prejudice or discrimination
- people with disabilities or long-term health conditions are more likely to be stressed about their health or about stigma associated with their condition.
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Causes & Risk Factors
Stress often results if a person feels that there are high pressures or demands, that there is a threat to their well-being or that they don’t have enough resources to cope with the demands.
Common sources of stress include a person’s physical environment , relationships, work, life situations and major life changes. These situations can include negative events such as financial problems, relationship breakup, difficulties at work or school, injury, illness or death and grieving. However, situations leading to stress can also include positive changes, such as work promotions, getting married or buying a house.
Because stress is a normal part of life, everyone experiences it. However, the intensity, frequency and duration of stress will be different for each person. Numerous factors can make the experience of stress worse, such as when people:
- have limited social support
- have difficulty regulating or balancing their emotions
- have difficulty tolerating uncertainty or distress
- lack self-confidence or do not feel they can cope with the stressor
- interpret the stressor negatively, so that they feel powerless, overwhelmed or helpless.