Even though stress is a normal physical reaction, it can sometimes have negative effects on your health. Don’t allow stress to take over your life: there are ways to face stress and prevent its harmful effects.
Stress and your health
Our lives are filled with highs and low that generate some level of stress. Everyone is affected differently by events in their lives; as a result, what causes stress in one person does not necessarily cause it in another. Stress may be the result of happy events (wedding, birth of a child, promotion, and so on) or challenging situations (conflict, work-related pressure, mourning, and so on).
Whenever stress becomes too intense and difficult to manage, it can have an adverse effect on your health. Stress is a risk factor for many diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Intestinal ailments
- Mental disorders
- Various infections due to a weakened immune system
Symptoms of stress
There are many symptoms of stress and they vary from person to person. They may be divided into 3 categories: physical, psychological and behavioural stress.
Among the physical symptoms of stress, you may experience:
- Muscular tension
- Trouble with your appetite and digestive system
- Sexual problems
Psychological symptoms of stress include:
- Low self-esteem
Stress can also bring on a change in behaviour, for example:
- Absenteeism from work
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- A change in eating habits
How to reduce risk
There are ways to manage the stress you feel and prevent it from growing and affecting your health. Here is some advice for more effective stress management:
- Recognize the events that cause stress. Be attentive to symptoms of stress and note the types of events that affect you most.
- Find out what the problem is exactly – this makes it easier to deal with it.
- Speak about your problems to people you trust. By expressing your feelings, you reduce the stress you feel. Feel free to speak with a professional if you need to do so.
- Learn about stress-management techniques. You can speak with a healthcare professional for help or read up on the subject.
- Reduce tension through physical exercise.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Be sure to get enough sleep.
In our society focused on productivity, stress can have devastating effects on health. It affects a growing number of people, regardless of age and social status. However, you can respond by listening to your body and recognizing the symptoms of stress. As a result, you can reduce the tension that afflicts you and develop strategies to manage it.