Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations, whether they’re real or perceived. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as fight – or- flight ,During stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. This is in readiness for you to protect yourself.
Stress is both natural and inevitable but does the body know how to react to it?
Stress is everywhere. And while a little stress is harmless and some stress is actually beneficial, too much stress can have quite the effects, both mentally and physically.
Stress affects the body in two ways, the first being the physical effect and the second the emotional effect. Stress can cause physical problems such as headache, increased or decreased appetite, insomnia,low sexual desire, constipation, diarrhea, nervousness, ringing in the ear,sweaty palms, body aches among others.
Mental effects include being pessimistic,poor judgement, memory loss,inability to concentrate and disorganization. It may lead to mental health problems like depression, personality disorders and anxiety.
It is believed that our nervous system is the first line of defense against stress. It is the part of the nervous system that sends messages to our bodies to maintain overall health.
Stress has a profound effect on the nervous system and can be classified into two categories. They are fight and flight response. Fight is characterized by a prolonged and persistent state of stress that involves many physical symptoms. It usually results from anxiety that is often perceived as a threat to one’s life.
Flight tress is experienced by people who are confronted with a threat or danger in a single situation. It is the result of a temporary distraction or physical discomfort. This stress is brief and does not last long. Flight stress is a natural reaction to stress and is manifested in the body by increased pulse rate, increase heart rate, increased perspiration, increase in breathing rate, and impaired senses. These are all normal physiological responses that protect us from physical harm.
Stress-induced anxiety can interfere with memory and concentration. It also makes it difficult to complete routine tasks such as cooking or putting together household items. Due to this, in addition to the physical symptoms caused by stress, these persons may also suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia and night terrors.
Many of us tend to experience the physical effects of stress without even knowing we are suffering from emotional stress. It is these times when we tend to feel terrible, and do not realize that we are stressed. Chronic stress, however, is quite different. A typical example of chronic stress is when we find ourselves feeling unappreciated, unheard, depressed, or constantly anxious.
It is quite common for people to forget how to appreciate themselves if they are constantly under a significant change in their lives. For instance, many new parents report having no idea how they will ever feel when they are a parent. Similarly, many people report feeling totally worthless when a relationship ends, or when they lose a job. When these types of events happen, the person is not necessarily under great stress.
However, when these events occur frequently and become more frequent, the person is feeling stress. These feelings can be quite intense and if not properly treated can cause major health problems. Even though most of us never really think about the effects of stress, when we are experiencing them, we tend to put them in a medical context and associate them with major diseases
When we begin to suffer from anxiety, it can have very serious effects on our lives. We can find ourselves feeling completely helpless, constantly feeling nervous, and unable to relax.
The next time you feel you may be suffering from anxiety, try and remember that you are not alone and is not an illness. Anxiety is a natural response to stress and cannot be eliminated completely but there are things you can do to reduce the intensity of your symptoms.
Stress is a part of life. What matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms.
It is important to note that stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks.