Everyone experiences stress at one time or another during their lives. Stress is how the body responds to the everyday responsibilities of life. There are two different types of stress: good and bad. Although stress can’t be avoided, it must be properly managed or it can lead to a host of different ailments. What is stress doing to your life?
What Is Stress: Causes of Stress
If you are wondering what causes stress, then you should know it’s not all negative. Positive stress can be caused by starting a new job, getting married or having a baby. Negative stress can be caused by being laid off from work, financial problems, divorce, in addition to many other issues. Many people are stressed out on a regular basis due to their jobs. Perhaps they don’t like their jobs very much, or their jobs are very demanding. There are many other possible causes of stress. A person could be under a great deal of stress due to being involved in a bad relationship. Another reason that a person could be under a lot of stress is if they are unable to get along with their boss. Since the person must work with their boss on a regular basis, then the stress of the situation could quickly mount.
What Is Stress Doing to Your Life?
Too much stress can be very dangerous in some cases. What can stress cause? It can lead to high blood pressure, depression, headaches, and much more. It can cause a person to suffer from personality changes as a result of stress attacking their body. Symptoms of stress overload will also vary from person-to-person. One person experiencing high stress levels might suffer from stomach irritability, while another person might fail to notice any symptoms until a heart attack develops.
For most people, the first indication that life has become too stressful is not a heart attack. However, if stress is allowed to build on a continual basis, then a heart attack, stroke, or any number of other serious conditions could arise as a result. Usually before a person reaches the point of having a heart attack as a result of stress, a doctor will order a stress test. What is a stress test? It is a test that determines how much stress from physical exercise a person’s heart is able to tolerate. It is usually performed in a doctor’s office, on a treadmill.
What Is Stress Management? How can I deal with stress?
Managing stress and keeping its levels to a minimum can be as easy as participating in a new hobby. The hobby can be anything from fishing to crafting to gardening. As long as the hobby is an activity that you enjoy and it promotes relaxation, then it can very effectively reduce stress levels. The hobby must be participated in on a regular basis in order to be effective, because if it’s only enjoyed a couple times a year, for instance, then it would provide little benefit as a stress management technique.
Another way to manage stress levels is by journaling. Keeping a journal can be therapeutic for people of all ages. By writing down your feelings and thoughts, you are providing yourself with a healthy outlet, which prevents feelings from remaining bottled up inside and wreaking havoc on your body. You could even go online and begin a blog, or an electronic journal. Blogs are becoming more and more popular, frequently replacing traditional journals.
If you would prefer not to blog, then you could opt to talk to another person about your problems or the cause of your stress. This person could be a friend or relative that you trust. If you prefer to speak with a professional about your stress-related problems, then there are many therapists available. You might also want to join a support group which relates to the underlying cause of your stress. For instance, if you or a close family member suffers from a chronic or terminal illness, then there are likely support groups available in your area. By attending a support group, you can learn new coping strategies, possible treatments and even obtain the names of specialists that might be able to offer new treatments. If you live in a smaller area, or there are no pertinent support groups available, then you might opt to find an online support group. Or perhaps you could start your own support group?
What Is Stress: Medications for Anxiety, Stress and Tension
For acute and chronic anxiety, include panic attacks, doctors can prescribe medications like Xanax or Valium. These medications are very potent, usually clearing up any sleep problems that may exist, in addition to nervousness, anxiety and panic. Despite the fact that these medications are very effective, Valium and Xanax can be highly addictive, according to Mayo Clinic doctors. This is why doctors are usually very careful when prescribing such medications. If you reach a point where your stress levels are extremely high, then you might want to take whichever drug your doctor prescribes for a short period of time.
What Is Stress: Supplements to promote Relaxation
There are a number of supplements that can aid your body with relaxation. However, if you don’t deal with the underlying cause of your stress, then supplements will do little to help. If you are working on resolving the issues which are the cause of your stress, then you might want to include some of these supplements to help your body release tension during the resolution phase. Here is a list of some common supplements that have helped numerous people deal with excess stress, depression and anxiety:
St. John’s Wort
This herb has been around for centuries, and it has been used primarily for the treatment of depression and nervous disorders. It works by balancing brain chemicals that may be out of balance.
This herb can be taken in supplement form or consumed as a tea. It is useful for treating anxiety, hyperactivity, sleep disorders and more. Some people prefer to take Valerian in pill form, as the tea often has an unpleasant taste.
American skullcap, which is an herb that is native to North America, is used to treat nervous conditions, anxiety and tension. It is sometimes combined with similar herbs for an even greater effect.
Gamma-Aminobutyric acid is an amino acid that controls the neurotransmitters and directly affect the central nervous system. Deficits in this necessary amino acid can lead to anxiety, or panic attacks. This supplement can be purchased online or at local health food stores. Some drug stores might even carry it.
Before taking any natural supplements, it is best to seek your doctor’s advice. Even though herbs are natural, there is still the possibility of side-effects, especially if you don’t take the proper dosage or if you’re taking prescription medications.
Natural relaxation methods
There are numerous ways of relaxing naturally in order to lower stress levels. Here are just a few effective methods of natural relaxation:
- Massage therapy – This relaxation method helps to reduce stress by removing tension from the muscles. As the muscles relax, so does the entire body, therefore, reducing stress levels.
- Meditation – Not many people have the ability to quiet their minds enough to successfully meditate. Fortunately there are many guided meditations available, which makes deriving the many benefits of this ancient practice possible. In addition to many other benefits, meditation is great for reducing stress, as it clears the mind and improves functioning in the brain and throughout the body.
- Vacation – Sometimes extreme stress can be minimized by taking an extended vacation. A majority of employers provide their employees with vacation time for a good reason. Vacations are therapeutic, because after performing a certain job for an extended period, employees can easily become stressed. A vacation provides employees with important time off from work to spend time on an exotic island, or even simply sleeping late every day and participating in other enjoyable activities.
So if you were wondering what is stress and what it causes, then you can see that it can flip your life upside down, inside out. Stress can’t be avoided, but it can be kept at functional levels. This is possible by participating in enjoyable hobbies, exercising, and taking regular vacations.