Published: 07/17/2013 - Updated: 05/11/2017
Feeling stressed has become a very common thing in society today: Human beings are often immersed in a series of demanding situations that lead to high levels of anxiety, nervousness and depression.
Learning how we can deal with these situations every day and keep stress levels at bay is paramount if we want to maintain good physical and emotional health. Learn how to get free from stress in everyday activities here:
The real cause of stress
When we hear the word "stress", we rapidly associate it with health problems, diseases and other negative effects. Although this is somewhat true, it is merely half of the equation since stress is a natural human response and can be viewed as a defense mechanism which activated when we are in stressful situations.
Formerly, primitive humans had to face situations that required them to respond quickly and accurately. They also had to undertake many activities with very large physical exertion levels, such as staying safe from bad weather and other hazards: Stress was the natural response to face and cope with such situations, so the feeling of stress can be traced back to the beginnings of humanity.
This natural response is present in other living things in threatening situations: They must preparing to face the threat or avoid it, also commonly known as "fight or flight". With this in mind, we could define stress as either a physiological or psychological response in order to enhance performance as a method of survival.
Currently, modern man must face other challenges where, in addition to physical challenges, there are a large number of mental issues can become concerning, such as the economic situation, marital conflict, family and work problems, among many others. These are just some modern-day worries which can activate the same survival "stress" response in the body.
The consequences of stress
Due to constant alertness that causes stress, the body prepares to face the difficult or threatening situation and as a result, there is an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This, in turn, releases sufficient levels of adrenaline and cortisol necessary to maximise the capabilities of the body and blood sugar and fat levels are elevated in order to prepare the body to "fight or flight".
The present overproduction of cortisol and adrenaline hormones can be counterproductive to the effective performance of the human body, sometimes becoming a threat to health. Among some of the side-effects of this are: Protein loss, difficulty absorbing calcium, muscle weakness etc.
Another effect during prolonged states of stress is increased or decreased appetite. Moreover, constant stress can affect our behaviour and leads to mental health disorders such as strong anxiety or depression. This, in turn, can lead to a decrease in quality of life.
In order to avoid this series of adverse consequences, we can implement different actions against most stressful situations in today's world.
Undoubtedly there are many ways to combat stress: By employing minor changes that do not involve a large investment we can cope with this otherwise nasty problem:
- Learning to know our limitations is critical: Remember that not everything is within your control and trying to solve all problems or challenges on your own will only cause higher stress levels.
- Make a list of your daily activities: Creating work plans to facilitate your work allows you to distribute your time more wisely.
Facing economic problems:
- Make a thorough review of your finances: Evaluation is the first step to finding any mistakes you may be making.
- Based on your priorities, organise your payments: Make a calendar to help you make payments on time, so you do not miss the deadline.
- Find an activity or project that can serve as additional income: Give a course in an activity that you know how to do well: Teaching a musical instrument or starting a small business are examples.
For daily life:
Include a hobby or recreational activity in your weekly routine that you like performing: Painting, photography and reading are some good options.
- Doing regular exercise is the best way to release the tension that builds up in the body.
- Proper nutrition can generate more changes than you imagine: Maintaining a good balance between body and mind is important if you want to have a good quality of life.
Managing stress is an everyday task as there are many stimuli from modern-day lifestyles that cause stress. The important thing is to stay positive, be less apprehensive or hard on ourselves and enjoy life!