A detailed look at stress and how you can manage it
Stress is considered by many, to be a silent killer, and it is one of the most dangerous and detrimental conditions for anybody to have to suffer with. Sadly, not only is stress very dangerous, it is also very common, as stress can manifest itself in all kinds of ways, for all kinds of reasons. Some people find themselves stressed at work, some people become stressed due to relationship issues, some people become stressed due to financial issues, and some people are just naturally very stress-prone individuals. Whatever the cause of the stress may be, it is important to get to the root cause and to address the issue, before it can get any worse. If left unaddressed, stress can lead to all kinds of other very serious ailments and mental and physical health issues, which can potentially become fatal. To learn more about the dangers associated with stress, and about what you can do to treat it, here’s a more detailed look at stress and its place in modern society.
The dangers of stress
Modern life as we know it today, is becoming increasingly hectic, and with the economy far from stable, and various media outlets spewing out constant negative content and propaganda for their own agendas in most cases, it is easy to see why so many of us are succumbing to stress. We all experience stress at some point in our lives, and many of us will simply have a stressful day or two, or the odd stressful experience, and that will then be it. For some however, stress can be a part of everyday life and can be caused for all kinds of reasons. Some people have stressful jobs, whilst others simply find themselves in stressful environments. Whatever the cause of stress, it is vital that we understand just how dangerous stress can be, as maybe, just maybe, knowing the risks will help us to take action and address the issues sooner rather than later. Some common dangers and side effects associated with stress are:
Cardiovascular disease is very common in overly stressed individuals, and this is no coincidence. People who are stressed are likely to experience high blood pressure, which in turn will affect the circulation, and put a strain on the heart. What’s more, to manage their stress, a lot of people are likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and eat unhealthy foods, which all put a lot of strain on the heart as well.
When we’re stressed, we are far more likely to comfort eat to try to make ourselves feel better, plus we will be lacking energy and motivation to cook healthy meals and eat right, and exercise. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise is quickly going to result in weight gain. What’s more however, when we are stressed, our bodies secrete a stress hormone known as cortisol, which causes all kinds of negative side effects. One side effect is that it causes the body to store visceral body fat on the abdomen, which puts the organs under a lot of pressure.
When we’re stressed our brains just can’t seem to switch off and we find ourselves over-thinking and going over all of our worries and concerns in our heads whilst trying to sleep. On top of that, we also have the excess cortisol to content with, which also stimulates the brain and makes it harder to get to sleep. The less sleep we have, the more emotional and erratic we become, meaning the more stressed we become, so everything becomes one giant vicious circle.
If left untreated, stress can eventually lead to depression and chronic depression, which can leave us barely able to function in some cases. When we’re depressed, even getting out of bed in a morning is going to be a struggle, so exercising, healthy eating, and having fun in general, are all going to be huge challenges. Depression also puts our lives at risk as it can lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
How to manage and beat stress
The good news is that stress can be managed and beaten, and although challenging, if you know what to do, the entire ordeal will become a whole lot easier. Here’s a look at what you can do to manage and beat stress.
Get a good night’s sleep
This may be easier said than done, as stress can affect your sleep, but there are supplements you can take that can help promote a good night’s sleep, as well as things you can do. If you are able to get a good night’s sleep, and to get a regular sleeping pattern organized, you will begin to feel infinitely better and will find yourself thinking clearly and becoming less and less stressed each day.
Take a warm relaxing bath before bed
To ensure you get into bed nice and relaxed, try to take a warm and relaxing bath so ease your tense muscles and to help you relax and unwind. Add in some calming music in the background, and some candles and perhaps essential oils such as lavender (which is a notorious stress buster) and you’re well on your way.
When stressed, even though you may not be as motivated to exercise as you normally are, try to dig deep and force yourself to get some exercise of any kind. Exercise stimulates the production and secretion of happy-chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemical neurotransmitters not only make you feel better, they also help you to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
You are what you eat, so if you eat junk, you will feel like junk. Try to focus on wholesome, quality, nutritious ingredients packed full of nutrients, and you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel.
If you are overly stressed, try various herbal supplements which are designed to help relax the body and the mind. St John’s Wort is a very potent mood-enhancer, as is 5-HTP. Magnesium is another supplement that relaxes the mind and helps you to focus, so just bear them in mind.