Stress is a feeling of being overloaded, wound up tight, tense and worried. When we face a stressful event, our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones like adrenalin. These hormones help us to react quickly and effectively to get through the stressful situation. The hormones increase our blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, muscle tension and metabolism. This is sometimes called as the “fight or flight” response.
What is Stress ? – The Medical Definition of Stress
- Stress can defined as the abnormal mental and emotional state resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium.
- The term “stress” was coined in 1936 by Hans Selye, a pioneering Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist , who defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”.
- Stress is the condition or feeling experienced when an individual perceive demands far in excess of his personal and social resources. When people reach out for help, they are often dealing with circumstances, situations, and stressors in their lives that leave them feeling emotionally and physically overwhelmed.
Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Not all stress is bad. It can sometimes help to motivate us to get a task finished or perform well. But chronic stress can cause both physical and mental harm. With prolong stress, your immunity is lowered, your digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems stop working normally. Although Once the challenging event has passed, other body systems act to restore normal functioning. Some people may cope with stress more effectively or recover from stressful events quicker than others.
50 Stress Symptoms – Are You Stressed Out ?
Symptoms of Stress include:
1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
2. Gritting, grinding teeth
3. Stuttering or stammering
4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
7. Ringing in the ears
8. Frequent blushing, sweating
9. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
11. Frequent colds, infections
12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
13. Unexplained or frequent allergy attacks
15. Excess belching, flatulence
16. Constipation, diarrhea
17. Difficulty breathing, sighing
18. Sudden attacks of panic
19. Chest pain, palpitations
20. Frequent urination
21. Low sexual drive or performance
22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility
24. Depression, frequent or intense mood swings
25. Increased or decreased appetite
26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
27. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
28. Trouble learning new information
29. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
30. Difficulty in making decisions
32. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
33. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
34. Little interest in appearance, punctuality
35. Nervous habits, feet tapping, fidgeting
36. Increased frustration, irritability
37. Overreaction to petty annoyances
38. Increased number of minor accidents
39. Obsessive/compulsive behaviors
41. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
42. Rapid or mumbled speech
43. Excessive defensiveness or Suspiciousness
44. Problems with communication
46. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
47. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
49. Increased smoking, alcohol, or drug use
50. Excessive gambling or impulse buying
(Source : – Klinic Community Health Centre,Winnipeg )
Signs of Stress
The following signs can indicate that a person is stressed out :
- Changes in Normal Behavior
- Change in Appetite – Not Eating or Over-Eating
- Experiencing sleep problems (usually poor sleep)
- Feeling overwhelmed and out of control
- Feeling moody or tearful
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Being argumentative
- Losing sense of humor
- Lacking self-esteem
- Suffering from back ache, headaches or migraines
- Suffering from anxiety or depression
- Fearing rejection
Effects of Stress
Physical or mental stresses may cause physical illness as well as mental or emotional problems . Here are the parts of the body affected by stress :-
Stress triggers mental and emotional problems such as insomnia, headaches, personality changes, irritability, anxiety and depression.
High stress levels may cause excessive hair loss and some forms of baldness.
Mouth ulcers and excessive dryness are often symptoms of stress.
Cardiovascular disease and hypertension are linked to accumulated stress.
Spasmodic pains in the neck and shoulders, musculoskeletal aches, lower back pain, and various minor muscular twitches and nervous tics are more noticeable under stress.
High levels of mental or emotional stress adversely affect individuals with asthmatic conditions.
Stress can cause or aggravate diseases of the digestive tract including gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and
Some individuals react to stress with outbreaks of skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
Stress affects the reproductive system causing menstrual disorders and recurrent vaginal infections in women and impotence and premature ejaculation in men.
Stressed Out ? – Try these Stress Relief Self Massage Exercises
Stress is very harmful for Physical & Behavioral health. Learning how to reduce stress is vital for your well-being.
- Calming Face Massage – Begin by rubbing the palms of your hands together quickly. As you feel the heat build in your hands, stop rubbing your hands and place the now heated palms over your face. Feel the warmth, and the soothing sensation it immediately provides.Breathe deeply. Hold and slowly release through the mouth. Repeat the deep breathing several times until you begin to feel less stress.
- Keep your head upright and centered. Use your thumbs for this exercise. Turn your hands outward, palms facing away from you. Place your thumbs at either side of the nose, beside the flares. Gently push & drag your thumbs across the sinuses, and maintain an even pressure throughout.
- Sooth Your Head – Place your thumbs behind your ears while spreading your fingers on top of your head. Move your scalp back and forth slightly by making circles with your fingertips for 15-20 seconds.
- Calm Your Eyes – Close your eyes and place your ring fingers directly under your eyebrows, near the bridge of your nose. Slowly increase the pressure for 5-10 seconds, then gently release. Repeat 2-3 times.
- Sinus Pressure Relief – Place your fingertips at the bridge of your nose. Slowly slide your fingers down your nose and across the top of your cheekbones to the outside of your eyes. Repeat 3-4 times.
- Relief For Shoulder Tension – Reach one arm across the front of your body to your opposite shoulder. Using a circular motion, press firmly on the muscle above your shoulder blade. Repeat on the other side.