Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the “fight or flight” response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinologic systems.
Signs & Symptoms:
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.
Common effects of stress
Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Common effects of stress on your body
Muscle tension or pain
Change in sex drive
Common effects of stress on your mood
Lack of motivation or focus
Irritability or anger
Sadness or depression
Common effects of stress on your behavior
Overeating or undereating
Drug or alcohol abuse
Exercising less often
Everyone has different stress triggers. Work stress tops the list, according to surveys. Forty percent of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.
Causes of work stress include:
Being unhappy in your job
Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
Working long hours
Having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, or no say in the decision-making process
Working under dangerous conditions
Being insecure about your chance for advancement or risk of termination
Having to give speeches in front of colleagues
Facing discrimination or harassment at work, especially if your company isn’t supportive
Life stresses can also have a big impact. Examples of life stresses are:
The death of a loved one
Loss of a job
Increase in financial obligations
Moving to a new home
Chronic illness or injury
Emotional problems (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)
Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
Traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one
How To Cure:
- Slow and Deep Breathing
Slow and deep breathing can help you cool off in a stressful situation. With deep breathing, more oxygen enters the body, which has a calming effect on your mind and body. In fact, 15 to 30 minutes of slow, deep breathing daily can help prevent stress. It can even help you think more clearly, so that you can deal with stress more easily.
When you are under stress, sit or lie down in a quiet, comfortable place.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose to the count of 5.
Hold your breath for 5 counts, then exhale for 5 counts.
Repeat 5 or 6 more times or until you calm down and feel relaxed.
- Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is another useful and effective remedy to help you calm down when you are under stress. Stress causes low magnesium levels in the body and increases adrenaline levels.
Epsom salt is high in magnesium, which helps increase the mood-elevating serotonin chemical in the brain. This in turn helps reduce stress, promote relaxation and ease anxiety, irritability, insomnia and abnormal heart rhythms.
Add 1 cup of Epsom salt and a few drops of an aromatic essential oil of your choice to warm bathwater.
Stir thoroughly, until the salt granules dissolve in the water.
Soak in this soothing water for 20 minutes.
You can enjoy this soothing bath 2 or 3 times a week.
- Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is an effective herb for reducing stress. Its calming and soothing nature has a sedative effect on the central nervous system. It helps relax the muscles, ease anxiety and promote better sleep.
You can drink up to 4 cups of chamomile tea a day to fight stress. To make the tea, add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile to a cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add raw honey as per taste and drink it.
You can also add fresh chamomile flowers or a few drops of chamomile essential oil to warm bathwater for a nerve-soothing soak.
You can even take this herb in supplement form. Consult your doctor for proper dosage.