Relation Between Stress and Mental Health
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