Due to the many day-to-day activities, as well as the accelerated pace of life, it is very possible to suffer from stress, one of the most common diseases nowadays. Knowing about this condition is very important to prevent its risks from increasing.
What is stress, what are the symptoms it produces, and what measures can be taken in case of stress? Let’s see the answers below.
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What is stress?
Stress can be defined in several ways, with the explanation from the U.S. National Library of Medicine being one of the most accurate. It explains that stress is an increase in physical or emotional tension.
If the duration of this tension is brief, it does not result in danger to the organism. But, if it is extended, it can cause even worse evils. The presence of stress requires a stressor, for example, when physical integrity is at risk or a deadline for an activity must be met.
It can be separated into two categories. A person can suffer from chronic or acute.
Types of Stress:
- Acute. It is a stress that only lasts a very short time. It is good because it allows all the senses to remain alert, causing the capabilities to increase.
- Chronic. It is when its duration exceeds 24 hours and is maintained. The stressor can be very serious problems, for example, lack of money.
Symptoms of stress
The symptoms of stress can vary. They depend on the intensity of the condition. Mayo Clinic, a well-known medical website, points out the most common symptoms of stress.
- Stomach problems. Stomach discomfort may occur, especially after eating. It is also possible to fall into one of the extremes: suffering from diarrhea or constipation.
- Pain. Some areas of the body are more susceptible to this symptom, although it could appear in many parts. Among these, the joints of the neck and shoulders.
- Sleep disturbance. For some people it is difficult to fall asleep, while for others the opposite is true: they tend to sleep too much.
- Exhaustion. This is reflected in the difficulty to concentrate. Lack of energy is also felt, being sometimes very acute.
- Weight alteration. With this pathology, some people begin to lose a lot of weight, while others may gain it.
- Other symptoms. Lack of memory, frequent headaches, among others, are also recurrent when exposed to a lot of stress for a long time.
In addition, if it is constant, it causes the body’s natural defenses to decrease, exposing it to a large number of diseases, as pointed out in the study on the effect of stress on the immune system.
Causes of stress
Stress can occur due to different causes. In the mildest cases, it is due to a situation that demands high concentration for a very short period of time. This occurs, for example, when driving and having to slam on the brakes, or when a job is due and there is little time left to do it.
However, in most situations, it can be extended for a longer period of time. These are the main causes.
- Marriage. There are 3 related situations: getting married, because it requires making a lot of arrangements, getting divorced or living in an unhappy marriage.
- Work. It can be when starting a new job, when working under pressure for a long time, or when being fired.
- Death of a loved one. Everyone reacts differently to the death of someone close to them. Some people may suffer from it for a long time.
There are many other causes that can generate stress. Among these we find chronic illnesses, having problems, whether money, at home or at work. Because of how frequent it can be, it is recommended to seek medical help when the first symptoms appear.
Treatment for stress
To counteract stress, it is necessary to take measures as soon as the first symptoms are perceived. In addition, experts recommend staying away from the causes of stress whenever possible. Treatments depend on the severity of the situation.
Exercise is the best remedy for stress. Although the more demanding the exercise, the greater the benefit. Simpler activities such as team sports, walking or cycling are also helpful.
The key is to do some physical activity that makes moderate demands on the body. This allows you to clear your mind. According to experts, the minimum amount of time should be 2.5 hours a week.
Conversation provides much more than just the exchange of ideas. There is what is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which helps the person to understand how to best manage their thoughts. In this way, they are prevented from influencing the amount of stress.
At very high levels, it can cause other conditions, such as depression. In these cases, and always under the prescription and supervision of a doctor, antidepressant drugs can be used.
Depending on the severity, or if it has risen to the point of being considered anxiety, the physician will have to choose which drug will be the most appropriate for the patient.
Other measures to reduce stress
In the vast majority of people suffering from stress, the level of stress is mild or moderate. When dealing with this condition, some measures can be taken to limit or reduce the effect of stress.
- Organization. The most important jobs should be done first. They should not be left to the last minute.
- Nutrition. Eat more natural foods, and less fat.
- Rest. Lack of rest increases it, so you should rest well. It is not advisable to lose sleep.
- Entertainment. It is important to have fun, always with balance.
It is true that stress can be a terrible enemy, but it can be controlled and even eliminated. To do so, it is important to follow the recommendations of health experts.