What is stress and why do we worry about it?
Stress and worry are emotions that we all have from time to time. They're normal reactions to danger, adversity, or threat.
I’m no medical doctor, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think it’s pretty known that stress is a major cause of disease. However, stress isn't always a bad thing, either. The stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol that are released during stress can be helpful in certain situations. They maintain alertness, boost energy, drive us into action and make us strong - that feeling when you’re getting ready to bungee jump.
However, stress becomes a problem when it goes on too long. When stress becomes chronic, however, it can lead to serious health problems.
Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, ulcers, depression, fatigue, general ill-health, and memory loss. It can also interfere with sleep, making us less alert and productive during the day.
Fortunately, stress can be managed through various techniques.
The following tips can help:
- Reduce your workload. Cutting back on the commitments in your life will help you reduce your stress. If you have too much on your plate, take a break. Get some help with household tasks.
- Exercise. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your stress. A brisk walk, a few laps in the pool, or a vigorous workout at the gym can help you relieve stress.
- Eat right. Stressful situations can disrupt your appetite. While it's good to occasionally indulge, good nutrition is important for good health. Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Keep yourself busy. Get off the sidelines and enjoy life to the fullest. Do things you enjoy, whether that's spending time with family and friends, traveling, volunteering, gardening or reading.
- Talk it out. Talking about your problems can help relieve stress. Talk with a family member, friend, or counselor.