What is Stress?
Stress in a natural reaction, which helps us to cope when certain events place strong demands on us in the course of our everyday lives. Accidents, financial problems, work problems, family and relationship difficulties all lead to stress.
With proper coping skills we can meet our stressful challenges head-on and aspire to achieve our full potential. Some people even thrive on stress and it motivates them to get things done.
Stress and anxiety can affect your interaction with friends and family, your working relationships, and adversely disrupt the overall quality of your life.
Studies have also revealed that stress triggers panic attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, somatic illnesses, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, suicidal ideation, self-harm, low self esteem, and many other debilitating conditions. Studies have even shown that stress can increase the growth rate of cancer cells in the body.
Stress can manifest itself in sweating, palpitations, rapid heart beat, faintness, dizziness, dry mouth, shaking, crying, shouting irrationally, etc.
Your body produces adrenaline and cortisol (which is a by-product of adrenaline) in order to energise and prepare itself to face stressful events. Your body needs to relax between stressful episodes; otherwise your over stressed body is producing more of these chemicals than it can healthily manage.
Unless you learn to manage your stress effectively you are at a high risk of "burning out", and this will in turn have a negative and harmful impact on your physical and mental health.
Stress affects everyone differently and therefore requires a wide range of different coping strategies to manage. You should choose the strategies which work best for you in any given situation.
It is impossible to eliminate stress from your life (in fact, a certain amount of stress is required to function normally). However, it is imperative that you learn the skills necessary to manage it. By effectively managing your stress on an ongoing basis, you improve and expand your coping skills and your life and health will improve accordingly.