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Frequent Stress? Here are The Symptoms and How to Manage Stress Well

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Everyone knows what stress is like and want to know how to manage stress well —most people have probably experienced it more than once in their lives.

Although it is generally considered a more serious disorder or problem, short-term stress can actually help. Stress can motivate a person to stay focused during an exam, job interview, or key performance. Stress can also save lives, allowing a person to act quickly in the face of danger.

However, stress can also be a problem if it lasts too long or affects daily life by interfering with physical and mental functions. Chronic stress can lead to health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a depressed immune system, as well as mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. It can also cause feelings of “fatigue” or fatigue.

Sources of stress

Stress can manifest from the routine stresses of daily life, sudden life changes, or traumatic events. There is a seemingly endless list of actions and events that can trigger stress because each person has his own set of stressors and tolerance for stress. However, there are some common factors that most people find stressful:

  1. Financial, work, or family pressures and problems
  2. Too much commitment or activity
  3. Sudden negative changes (for example, illness, loss of work, divorce)
  4. Traumatic events (for example, major accidents, deaths of loved ones, assaults, natural disasters, wars)
  5.  

Certain moments in a person’s life can make them more susceptible to stress, such as when a person does not get enough sleep, does not eat well, is injured or in poor physical health, experiences major changes in life, or feels alone or without support tissue.

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Burnout is a common phenomenon associated with a work environment with a high level of stress. Technically, it is considered an “occupational phenomenon” by the World Health Organization (WHO) rather than a medical problem, but it can still harm a person’s mental and physical health. When a person experiences work fatigue, they may feel tired, and they can feel mental and emotional distance or work-related cynicism.

Burnout can reduce a person’s sense of accomplishment, leading to low self-esteem and depression. Unmanaged stress leading to burnout can lead to a decrease in productivity and even push some people to quit the entire industry.

People may be more likely to experience burnout when their work is monotonous, their workplace is dysfunctional, they don’t have clear work expectations, or they struggle with work-life balance. A person struggling with burnout at their job should make sure to rest, work to develop a better work-life balance, or talk to colleagues to manage their stress.

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Symptoms of stress

When experiencing acute stress, the adrenal glands of the body release the hormone cortisol, which increases the level of glucose and tissue repair proteins in the blood. This action, paired with the ability of cortisol to make fight-or-flight reactions more efficient, maximizes the body’s ability to cope with threats or short-term stress.

When cortisol is repeatedly released due to chronic stress, negative health consequences may occur. Existing physical and mental health problems can be exacerbated when a person is stressed. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Weight gain or weight loss
  2. Difficulty concentrating or “brain fog”
  3. Feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated
  4. Memory problems
  5. Difficulty maintaining focus to complete tasks
  6. Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and frustration
  7. Fatigue
  8. Self-doubt
  9. Depression
  10. Physical aches and pains, headaches, and jaw or chest pains
  11. Frequent pains such as colds
  12. Indigestion or changes in appetite
  13. High blood pressure
  14. Irregular menstruation
  15. Sleep too much or too little
  16. Increased consumption of caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes
  17. Isolate yourself from others

Manage Stress

Fortunately, there are many ways for people to cope with and manage their stress. Everyone needs to find the method that suits them best and incorporate it into their life regularly or use it to relieve stress symptoms more quickly.

  • Identify triggers. Once you have determined which situations or events are stressful, you can learn, when possible, to avoid or reduce them.
  • Exercise regularly. Being active every day, whether it’s going to the gym, cycling, or just taking a walk outside at lunchtime, can have a huge impact on your stress levels. It is common to skip physical activity when feeling stressed to devote more time to anything that causes stress, but a short break to exercise can provide mental clarity and improve your mood.
  • Get enough sleep. Prioritizing sleep can have a beneficial impact on many aspects of life, including reducing stress levels.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Avoiding processed foods and filling your plate with vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, unsaturated fats, and lean proteins are not only good for the body, but also good for the mind and mood.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. Although drugs and alcohol are generally considered (and described in popular culture) as coping mechanisms for stress, they do not actually productively reduce stress. In fact, they can increase it and create more problems with abuse.
  • Manage time well. Tasks and deadlines can seem overwhelming; creating schedules and to-do lists for events and tasks can help tame that feeling overwhelmed. Prioritizing tasks and setting goals can help you make efficient use of their time, which further reduces stress.
  • Practice self-care. Scheduling some “me time” to enjoy activities that give you pleasure can drastically improve their mood and reduce stress levels. Massaging, bathing, taking a walk or watching a movie with friends, reading a good book, or doing a favorite hobby are great ways to practice self-care.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation all allow one to refocus, relax, and calm down.
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