Are stress symptoms making me sick?

We all know what stress is, sometimes it can be a good motivating force, such as an impending deadline helps to ensure that an employee completes their task on time. When it comes to stress, more often than not, stress is a tolling force which can manifest as physical and emotional symptoms (Dalton et al., 2016). Prolonged unmanaged stress can even cause chronic long-term effects, diseases, and raise cortisol levels.

In the easy wording we can say that, Stress is an ordinary response the body has when changes happen, bringing about physical, enthusiastic and scholarly reactions. Stress the board preparing can help you manage things in a better way.

Stress is an ordinary human response that happens to everybody. Truth be told, the human body is intended to encounter pressure and respond to it. At the point when you experience changes or difficulties, your body produces physical and mental reactions. That is the real stress.

What happens during stress?

Do you remember the angst before a big interview or waiting to meet a new date? That feeling of uneasiness, sweaty hands, muscle tension, increased cortisol, and pounding heart rate is your body’s reaction to stress. Your body has evolved over time to develop protective measures. For instance, we were once vulnerable to be attacked by predators. The human body would produce the above-mentioned symptoms in response to stress exposure order to make it easier to get away.

Basically, Your body responds to stress by delivering and releasing different hormones. All these hormone make your cerebrum more alarm, cause your muscles to tense, and expand your heartbeat. For the time being, these responses are acceptable on the grounds that they can help you handle the circumstance causing pressure. This is your body’s method of securing itself.

Suddenly the target (or you) are hyper focused, experience an energy or restlessness, are breathing faster to make it easier to escape the impending threat. Today, we don’t have predators scaling the office, but our bodies still process the same reactions in response to stress. Prolonged and repeated stress even in small doses can be hazardous for your health and cause complications.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Does short term stress symptoms affect me?

The simple answer is yes, repeated small exposures can have an impact as stress effects cortisol. For example, if you experience stomach aches due to altered gastric regulation secondary to stress this can lead to  something called a stress ulcer. Perhaps one of the most dangerous and immediate consequences of stress is uncontrolled anger outbursts. This may inadvertently lead to increased blood pressure, heart attack, arrythmias, or other cardiac events especially in populations with underlying heart disease.

How does long term stress symptoms affect me?

The longer the body experiences stress exposure the greater impact is placed on your overall emotional and physical health. Common symptoms of chronic stress exposure include inability to focus, increased cortisol, inability to get restful sleep (Hellhammer & Schubert, 2013), feeling tired, irritability, emergence of depressive symptoms, exacerbation of underlying disorders, migraines or headaches, and metabolic syndrome secondary to weight gain if overeating or poor eating habits are used to cope with stress. Emotional disorders secondary to stress include increased depression, feelings of dysregulation, engagement in substance abuse, increased tobacco use, feelings of isolation, and others.

How can I reduce my stress?

  • First, we have to take a moment to evaluate your situation and identify the reason you are experiencing stress exposure. Be sure to monitor your state of mind throughout the day. Keep a journal to write down what you are thinking about and when you are starting to have feelings of increased stress. Once you can isolate the triggers or can identify the main source of stress you can make a plan to help alleviate the stress.
  • Secondarily look at the exertion on yourself, are you giving yourself realistic expectations? Are you asking for help when you need it or assigning tasks to others? Let’s take a look at priorities. You’ll have to evaluate what is and what is not essential to you in a specific time frame, next you’ll need to eliminate or downsize your lowest priorities.
  • Take a look at your relationships, are they healthy and bring more positivity than negativity? Are you connecting with your friends and family often enough and asking for help if you need it? It has been demonstrated that hostility with relationships can cause an increase in stress sensitive hormones (Saver, 2021).
  • Take a breath before you react. Do you often regret saying or doing something in the heat of anger? Try this exercise, next time you feel the anger coming on; remove yourself from the situation, take at least 15 deep breaths or do a breath exercise, consider what a reasonable solution for all parties involved would be, then revisit the situation at another time.
  • Get enough sleep, exercise, and eat better. We have to remember to treat our bodies well and avoid excess stress and cortisol. Restful sleep is the foundation to the rest of your day. If possible, ensure that you are exploring treatment options for sleep. Alternatively, a good first step is to engage in Sleep hygiene which is a collection of practices which promote better sleep, such as removing blue light devices and adhering to a schedule. Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and a good approach to start if concerned about starting medication. Lastly, we are what we eat essentially, ensure you are not eating excess fats or sugars. Excess fats and sugars can increase inflammation markers in the body increasing risk of other diseases in the future such as cardiac disease and diabetes.
  • Seek some kind of treatment. Speak to a licensed mental health professional to evaluate your symptoms and provide you with a treatment plan. Typically, counseling is considered first to help engage in a planned approach to decrease stress from a behavior or thought modification approach.

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Saver, C. (2021). Managing Moral Distress. ISNA Bulletin. 47(3):15-16. Accessed May 23, 2021.

Dalton, E. D., Hammen, C. L., Brennan, P. A., & Najman, J. M. (2016). Pathways maintaining physical health problems from childhood to young adulthood: The role of stress and mood. Psychology & Health, 31(11), 1255–1271.

Hellhammer, J., & Schubert, M. (2013). Effects of a Homeopathic Combination Remedy on the Acute Stress Response, Well-Being, and Sleep: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 19(2), 161–169.

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