What is Stress
Stress is the human body’s way of reacting to physical, mental or emotional demands. It could either be caused by good or bad encounters and the body reacts by exhibiting tension, disorientation irritability among other characteristics. It is virtually impossible to live without stress at certain times in our lives, but when it becomes too excessive then it becomes a problem. The first stage of stress is usually alarm and this is where the cause of the stress is identified and the adrenaline is usually produced by the body to bring about a fight or flight effect.
After alarm, the body responds by trying to resist the stressing element. If the stress persists then it is becomes apparent that the body has to contend with the stress and therefore tries to adapt. The last stage is exhaustion whereby the body has depleted its resources and cannot function in the normal way and development of ailments such as depression and ulcers is not uncommon. Stress can be managed by recognizing its causes and possibly avoiding them and seeking techniques to counter it. If it persists then professional help will be required. Some activities that can assist in managing stress include meditation, hobbies, humor and massage therapy.
Symptoms of Stress
Everybody experiences stress in one form or another regularly. Stress originates from our jobs, finances and mostly relationships and can develop into depression. Most people get through their stress easily while other people experience what doctors call chronic stress, which requires medical attention to treat. It is therefore important to know when the amount of stress you are dealing with is unhealthy. Some symptoms of this kind of stress include:
- Severe headaches
- Frequent flu and colds
- Fuzzy thinking
- Lowered libido in both men and women
Tension headaches are mostly brought about by stress and should be a symptom to look out for when trying to diagnose unhealthy stress. Stress causes the body to lose its immunity and this therefore makes the body more vulnerable to common colds and the flu. If the body fails incessantly to defend itslef against such infections, then stress may be involved. Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of stress because most people cannot sleep when they are thinking too much about their problems.
Anxiety, to some extent, is healthy and expected in life. However, when it is too much, it may be caused by stress and you should seek medical attention for stress-related anxiety treatment. When the body is stressed, it loses most of the reflexes that it needs in order to survive. This can be referred to as fuzzy thinking because a stressed person is unable to think fast enough even if it is to get out of a dangerous situation.
When stress causes you to feel frustrated over everything, it may be chronic and you may have to visit a physician. Most people calm down to avoid frustration but stress causes you to lack the ability to calm down. If in addition to the above symptoms you are always too exhausted to think about sex, then it could be a case of chronic stress.
How Does Stress Affect Health?
Stress can be defined as external forces, physical, emotional and mental factors that cause tension in the body or on the mind. During stressful times, adrenaline is released into the blood. Adrenaline is very useful to a person who may be in danger and gets them in ‘fight or flight’ mode. However if the stress was for emotional purposes, this could be dangerous as there are no channels for the release of this energy. Stress can be due to worry about one’s life, pressure from other people, noise, fatigue or overwork. Many people think that being stressed is normal and harmless. While the first opinion is true, the second one is untrue. Stress affects one’s health in the following ways.
Stress and Disease
When one is stressed excessively, this may lead to the development of ulcers. Ulcers are lesions or sores that develop in the stomach or the intestine and can be very painful. Development of ulcers is the first sign that one is undergoing much stress. The other health problem caused by stress is overstretching of the immune system. This causes the immune system to be overworked and consequently unable to fight off disease causing agents. Some diseases that are related to stress include stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Other diseases may also develop due to this. Depression, a mental disorder affecting one’s mood thus affecting behavior, feelings and thoughts, is also associated with stress. Stress also brings about hair loss, with some people pulling out hair from their head causing painful sores. Other health problems include headaches, anger, asthma, stomach cramping, weight loss, low libido and diarrhea.
Stress and Obesity
The main reason people get obese is that they overeat. However, very few connect the urge to eat with stress. Stress is the main cause for overeating and is listed among the main causes of obesity. Stressed people will often turn to comfort eating to manage the stress. They may not even care what they are eating and are often prone to consuming high sugar and high cholesterol foods. As such, chocolate bars or ice cream may be taken in large quantities to reduce stress. Many people live a life that is very hectic. They have too much to do in too little time. This leads to stress and consequently over eating as they use food to soothe themselves. The best way to beat both stress, obesity and sickness is by ensuring that one eats a healthy diet and works out regularly.
I hope this has been informative and will help you understand better what stress is, how to know when you are stressed and know how stress can affect you overall health. So, try to prevent stress as much as possible and live a healthy and relaxed life, stress free. For more information about stress and hair loss you can check out this article. I wish you best of luck!