Let's talk about Stress
Stress can manifest in many ways and affect anyone at any point in their life.
Stress has been proven to have a dramatic effect on a person’s health can shorten a person's life span. In honour of International Stress Awareness Week, we want to take a closer look at what stress it and how it’s best to manage it.
What is stress?
Even though we have all heard of stress, what is it exactly? Stress can simply be described as the body’s reaction to any change that occurs in our environment. This reaction can be physical, mental and emotional and be provoked by a change not just in our physical environment but also our emotional environment. It must be said that stress is a normal part of life and can be provoked by any change in the world around us, good or bad.
How does stress affect our health?
The human body is programmed to experience stress. It is perfectly normal and natural. However, when stress is impacting your daily well being, mental and physical health, it is always worth going to talk to your GP. Stress is used by the body as a ‘flight or fight’ response to prepare your body for any danger that is coming your way. Experiencing prolonged periods of stress means your body is constantly under pressure as if it were always in immediate danger, which is never good for your body.
Symptoms of prolonged or chronic stress can include the following:
Elevated blood pressure
In some circumstances, persistent stress has even been linked to heart disease, cancer and suicide. Studies have also shown that those are suffering from severe stress are more likely to partake in dangerous behaviours and substances to help cope with stress. Excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs have all been linked to chronic stress, as well as excessive gambling, shopping and surfing the internet. All of these behaviours have their own worrying side effects which can further encourage stress.
How to treat stress
Be safe in the knowledge that stress is normal. You should not feel ashamed for feeling stress and wanting to ask for help. It goes without saying that your GP is the best person to speak in regards to your symptoms and what treatment route you would like to go down. However, here are some common coping strategies that many people use to handle stress
A well-balanced diet
Spending time on your own interests
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