Stress in itself is not an illness but when you experience it frequently, it increases the risk of mental health problems. The conditions involve psychosis, anxiety, depression, and substance use problems.
Impacts of Stress on Mental Health
Stress can produce negative changes to your body ranging from mild to severe. Your body’s autonomic nervous system takes control when you are under stress. This nervous system regulates the involuntary functions of your internal organs such as the intestines, stomach, and heart.
The intensity or stress can be good as well as bad. In minor cases, it can increase thinking skills and help you survive in situations where you have to perform better, such as in an exam.
But long-term stress can be dangerous. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of long-term stress that you can identify and cope with it:
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Feeling depressed and hopeless
- Panic attacks
- Lack in self-confidence
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Cold attitude towards responsibilities and family
- Mood swings
- Unable to make and fulfill decisions
- Trouble sleeping and Loss of appetite
- Change in sexual drive
- Unfocused and unmotivated
- Social withdrawal
- Reduced levels of productivity and performance
- Drinking too much
You can face stress when:
- There’s a burden or a risk to your well-being with little or no means to counter the problem
- You have no set-up of support system around you
- Facing a job loss or changes in your environment
- Your sleep is very temporary or unable to sleep at night
- Physical health becomes poor
- You cannot control your emotional mood swings
Every individual suffering from stress has different triggers. If you identify triggers that are the cause of your stress you can get more personalized treatment to manage it. Do experiments in various ways to manage your mental health and reduce stress.
Here are some easiest ways to manage stress:
Exercising: Daily exercise triggers the secretion of stress-relieving hormones that improve your mental and physical health.
Support system: Spend time with people who support you. Attend stress management programs and support groups, consult an expert therapist, or talk to a close friend will help.
Engage in hobbies you enjoy: Set time for some fun activities or hobbies.
Eat healthily: Eating healthy food can help you improve your mood and physical and mental health.
Practice relaxation techniques: Add some techniques to your routine that help you such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or massage to control your stress levels.
Manage and prioritize tasks: Manage your tasks in a way that you perform your important tasks first and then un-important ones. In this way, you can skip some tasks if you are tired and do them at some other time.
How Long Does Stress Last?
Sometimes it is normal to feel stress. Stress can happen both in the short or long term. Long-term stress is not good for both mental as well as physical health. Try to avoid stress triggers and go for medical assistance if you:
- Can’t handle the demands and pressure of your life
- Want to hurt yourself in depression
- Tried a lot to manage stress but your symptoms persist
- Feel chest pain and back pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, pain burning into arms and shoulders, or nauseous
We all live with stress each day. But how do you respond to it daily? For some individuals, stressors in life cause them to become short-tempered, irritable, or unable to put attention to tasks. Others have intermittent sleep (trouble sleeping or getting up early in the morning with competing thoughts).
Then there are some people who respond by eating junk food — and many other things! The good news: No matter how tough your routine is, it is possible to control stress and keep it away from disturbing your life.
Tips for Managing Stress
Try these 6 tips to de-stress, unwind, and get back to the normal emotional state of your life:
Identify the causes of stress.
Try to find out what’s causing symptoms of stress in you. Maybe you are overburdened (too many tasks and commitments) and feel irritable and fatigued. Once you recognize the causes of stress, try to reduce these as early as possible.
Talk it out.
Talk to a family member, friend, or therapist if you’re having a high-stress level. Expressing your feelings without others’ judgments is essential to good mental health.
Take time out.
Before reaching your breaking point, take some time for yourself (solitude). Take time to encourage yourself, away from the responsibilities and cares of the world. Find time for emotional healing and inner strength.
Never waver to say “no” to having commitments that you can’t carry alone. Particularly if you are harmonizing work and family, it’s essential to prioritize. Saying “no” can support you in stress management and give you more satisfaction and control in your life.
Breathing can alter your psychological state, making a stress level increase or diminish in concentration. Often, people who are upset or anxious take narrow breaths and unintentionally hold them. By focusing on your breathing pattern, especially exhaling during stressful moments, you will feel much more comfortable.
Use smooth steady breathing when you are feeling stressed.
Exercise is believed to increase the discharge of endorphins, naturally secreted substances in the brain that encourage feelings of peacefulness. Many pieces of research show that exercise, along with the increased endorphin levels, really boosts confidence and self-esteem and lessens tension. Exercise also acts as a movement defense machine for those who are under stress.
What is this? If you’ve had to walk for some miles, you’d know how difficult it is to reflect on your problems if your mind is dedicated to walking.
When Should I Look for Help?
When stress disturbs your life, causing problems in sleep or making you feel stressed and irritable; go to your family doctor or primary health care professional. They can recommend an expert therapist who can offer assistance and give you some useful tips on how to manage stress without permitting it to take control over your life.Learn More