Impacts Of Stress On Your Life
Stress can have a big impact on our lives even when we dont realize that its happening. There are many short and long-term impacts of stress. Some of these are fatigue, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension/aches, headaches, sleep problems, loss of sex drive, and memory difficulties. Left untreated chronic stress can lead to serious medical conditions. These diseases are such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and gastrointestinal problems.
Understanding the impacts of stress on your life is important. It is in order to avoid being overwhelmed by it. Once you understand how stress is impacting your life, you can begin to develop strategies for reducing it. Then you can live a more fulfilling life.
Complications Of High Stress
High stress does a great deal of physical and mental damage if left untreated. The excessive release of stress hormones and the tension and inflammation through your body can damage tissues and organ function.
Some of the serious complications of untreated high stress include:
Chronic headaches Increased risk of heart disease Elevated blood sugar levels and increased risk for diabetes Increased risk for certain cancer Mental health diseases such as anxiety or depression GERD and other digestive issues An impaired respiratory system as a result of chronic rapid and shallow breathing Fertility problems and reduced sex driveChronic fatigue and muscle aches
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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Smile Like You Mean It
Dont roll your eyes the next time someone advises you to grin and bear it. In times of tension, keeping a smile on your face especially a genuine smile thats formed by the muscles around your eyes as well as your mouth reduces your bodys stress responses, even if you dont feel happy. Smiling also helps lower heart rates faster once your stressful situation ends.
Identifying Sources Of Stress
To manage stress, it is necessary to identify its sources. The majority of us are aware that we feel stressed, but we dont always know whats causing it. Identifying the source of your stress allows you to better handle it. You cant always control the things that cause us stress, but we can definitely control how you react to it.
In order to determine the source of your stress, you first need to develop self-awareness. What makes you tick? What frustrates you? What patterns are you stuck in that could benefit from evaluation?
Once you are aware of patterns that could use some adjustment, you can begin to change them. Changing your patterns of negative thinking will eventually change your behaviors and reactions to stressors.
Its also important to have goals and dreams. Exploring your passions in life can provide a sense of direction and motivation. A sense of direction allows you to feel a greater amount of control and purpose in your life.
Support systems provide the reassurance and validation you need to navigate stressful situations. Its important to have friends and family you can talk to about things that cause stress.
Most of the time, stress is the result of being out of balance. Without balance we start to feel lost and insecure. Being flexible and seeking balance in life is key to managing stress.
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Mindfulness Meditation: A Research
Mindfulness meditation can improve both mental and physical health.
Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress.
People have been meditating for thousands of years, often as part of a spiritual practice. But in more recent years, mindfulness has become a popular way to help people manage their stress and improve their overall well-being and a wealth of research shows its effective. Psychologists have found that mindfulness meditation changes our brain and biology in positive ways, improving mental and physical health.
How Our Stress Treatment Works
After weve assessed physiological tension levels with biofeedback instrumentation and sometimes qEEG brain mapping technology, our patients then undergo biofeedback and neurofeedback treatments.
Biofeedback and neurofeedback enables the patient to achieve deep regenerative levels of relaxation that are very difficult to achieve on their own, or through traditional relaxation techniques, but they are accessible via our process because we provide real-time and ongoing feedback reflecting the level of relaxation that the patient attains. This feedback is essential to learning or acquiring a new skill, including psychophysiological relaxation and acquired self-regulation.
Feedback is necessary to learn and master any new skill. For example, you would be unable to learn balance on a bicycle without equilibrioception which relies in part on visual feedback. Imagine trying to learn how to ride a bicycle while blindfolded, and youll get a better idea of how difficult it is to achieve the deep regenerative state of relaxation without the assistance of biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy.
Commonly, when people relax on their own, they simply go to a lower level of tension which feels more relaxed to their regular, now elevated baseline, but which typically does not reach true deep physiological relaxation necessary for the brain and body to shift back to a healthy homeostasis and reduce unwanted symptoms of a stress disorder or disease.
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Recognize When You Need More Help
If you are struggling to cope, or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety wont go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
If you are in immediate distress or are thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Read more about getting help.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Stress
Although some stress can be good for you, it is important to be able to identify the negative effects of stress. There are many different physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of stress to watch out for. Symptoms of stress can look different in different people.
- Symptoms of stress include:
- Suppresed immune system
- Addictive behaviors
When stress is prolonged, ignored, or poorly managed it may lead to medical conditions like depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Learn Some Coping Methods
You have a report due by the end of the day, two memos that need to be written, and an email inbox thats overflowing. But where do you start?
First, make a list. This helps you see whats on your plate so you can prioritize what needs attention now and what can wait. Number the items in order of importance and complete them one at a time.
When stress really starts to build up and you begin to panic or feel very overwhelmed, try some stress coping methods to help calm down in the moment. Some examples include:
- Mute your phone and computer notifications.
- Use a stress ball or other tactile stress object.
- Go for a walk.
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Relaxation Techniques For Stress Relief
In order to combat the negative effects of stress, you need to activate your bodys relaxation response. This is the state of deep rest that decreases the stress response, slows down your breathing and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure. It is what brings your mind and body back into balance.
Despite what we might want to believe, screentime does very little to relieve stress. In order to deal with this, you need to get up off the couch and face it head-on. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, visualization, yoga, tai chi, and rhythmic exercises are excellent relaxation techniques for stress relief.
Keep in mind that no one relaxation technique works for everyone. We all process stress in our own way. Here are several different relaxation techniques you can try. See what works best for you.
When Does An Acute Stress Reaction Become A Mental Health Problem
If symptoms of an acute stress reaction last longer than three days but less than a month, this is called an acute stress disorder . Acute stress disorder is not universally recognised as a medical condition and what you are experiencing may still be a normal or appropriate response for you, in your circumstances. However, if you are struggling, one or more of the following may help:
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When Should I See My Doctor
If you or someone close to you is experiencing an emergency, or is at risk of immediate harm, call triple zero . To talk to someone now, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you have tried relaxation techniques and reaching out to someone you trust, but still feel overwhelmed, you can check in with your doctor or speak with a mental health professional.
Stress is not itself a diagnosis but rather a clue that something else is going on. Chronic stress could be a sign of depression, anxiety or a symptom of another mental health condition. GPs and psychologists are trained to know how to recognise when stress is a sign that you need extra support, so dont hesitate to reach out for advice.
Stress Busters: 4 Integrative Treatments
Nearly half of women report a rise in stress levels over the past five years. And while women and men tend to cope with stress differently, we know that chronic stress contributes to a range of health problems in both sexes, including mental health disorders, heart disease and obesity.
Integrative treatments like meditation and acupuncture can help reduce stress and related problems. These techniques are gaining mainstream acceptance as research demonstrates their positive health effects.
Managing stress calls for addressing the mind as well as the body, since both the brain and body contribute to symptoms.
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Tip : Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isnt as straightforward as it sounds. While its easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. Its all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.
Sure, you may know that youre constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe its your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
- Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you cant remember the last time you took a breather?
- Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality ?
- Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.
Start a stress journal
A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal or use a stress tracker on your phone. Keeping a daily log will enable you to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Chronic Stress Unique
The Yale Stress Center conducts clinical trials that attempt to find biomarkers of stress that relate to chronic disease risk. Researchers at the center also develop and test new interventions to prevent and treat stress-related diseases. The Stress Center also holds classes and training workshops for the public on mindfulness and other stress-reduction techniques. An interdisciplinary approach to stress is the wave of the future, Sinha says. We are working to understand the mechanisms behind all manifestations of stress, and also studying its effects in diseases that are the endpoints of chronic stress.
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Treatment For High Stress
There are some cases where you can treat high stress at home without medical intervention, but this typically only works for temporary bouts of high stress. Techniques to help you cope with short-term anxiety and high stress include:
Stress management by limiting potential triggers
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga
Getting regular exercise, which reduces inflammation and helps you to release stress from the day
Eating a balanced diet full of antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage associated with high stress
A lack of sleep is also proven to increase the production of stress hormones, so getting restful sleep so your body can recharge is essential.
Limiting caffeine and alcohol, which can exacerbate symptoms of stress and anxiety
Making time for hobbies, and allowing time to enjoy and relax
Having a support network to talk about stressful events
For chronic high stress, more intense treatment is needed, such as counseling and medications. Counseling can help with psychological causes of high stress and anxiety by helping the person to identify what is triggering the stress. In doing so, they can change the patterns of behavior and thoughts that cause stress.
Medications like antidepressants and benzodiazepines can also help to reduce stress at a chemical level in the brain. By changing the neurotransmitter levels in the brain, symptoms of high stress can be reduced.
Warning Signs Of Excessive Stress
- Bodily sensations and physical effects
Rapid heart rate, palpitations, muscle tension, headaches, tremors, gastrointestinal distress, nausea, inability to relax when off duty, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, nightmares or flashbacks
- Strong negative feelings
Fear or terror in life-threatening situations or perceived danger, anger, frustration, argumentativeness, irritability, deep sadness, difficulty maintaining emotional balance
- Difficulty thinking clearly
Disorientation or confusion, difficulty problem-solving and making decisions, difficulty remembering instructions, inability to see situations clearly, distortion and misinterpretation of comments and events
- Problematic or risky behaviors
Unnecessary risk-taking, failure to use personal protective equipment, refusal to follow orders or leave the disaster scene, endangerment of team members, increased use or misuse of prescription drugs or alcohol
- Social conflicts
Irritability, anger and hostility, blaming, reduced ability to support teammates, conflicts with peers or family, withdrawal, isolationSome disaster-specific warning signs include high adrenaline, physical euphoria, numbnessthe endorphin effect disguises distress. Coupled with fatigue, cognition can change and create an inability to recognize poor judgment. Anger is a common defense against recognizing these problems.
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How Are Causes Of Stress Diagnosed
Your doctor needs to take a careful history and perform a physical exam in order to diagnose any medical problems leading to your symptoms. After ruling out medical causes for your signs and symptoms, the doctor looks for an underlying stress or psychological disorder that could be the source of your stress symptoms.
- Many times, a careful interview can be the best source of information about the cause of your symptoms. It is extremely important that you are completely honest and tell your doctor everything that you are feeling physically and emotionally and describe any situations that you think might be causing your problems or making them worse.
- The doctor then performs a physical exam that is focused on the symptoms you have described.
- Lab tests or other diagnostic tests such as an electrocardiogram may be needed to completely rule out an underlying physical cause for your symptoms.
- If these tests and your doctor’s exam findings are normal, the doctor may consult other specialists for further evaluation and treatment of your condition.
The Effects Of Chronic Stress
Your nervous system isnt very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. If youre super stressed over an argument with a friend, a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly as if youre facing a true life-or-death situation. And the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.
If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in todays demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:
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