It is common knowledge that stress can be detrimental to your physical heatlh and mental health. Stress can manifest in different ways, at different points in our lives, and in response to various circumstances.
The question is, how do you manage stress when it feels like everything is coming at you at once? Stress can have both positive and negative effects on our lives, depending on how we respond to the events or circumstances that cause stress.
While a certain amount of stress can be good for us – spurring us to meet new challenges, complete tasks faster and more efficiently, and find creative solutions – too much stress also has negative effects on an individual’s health.
In this article, we will explore what stress is, what its different types are, why we experience it and how it impacts our lives. We will also provide 4 simple steps towards managing everyday stress, so you feel less stressed in your everyday life.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the feeling of overwhelming pressure, confusion, irritation, and impatience caused by demanding situations and expectations. Stress can be both positive and negative, depending on how you respond to the events that cause stress.
While a certain amount of stress can be good for us. As it spurs us to meet new challenges, complete tasks faster, and find creative solutions, too much stress can be detrimental to our health and well-being.
Stress is the body’s natural and adaptive response to any demand placed on it. When we are faced with a difficult situation, a decision, an environment, or certain events that threaten our safety, we experience stress in the form of increased heart rate, muscle tension, and increased blood flow to the brain.
Types of Stress
- Biological: Stress from biological sources stems from our own bodies. Examples include our metabolism, hormone fluctuations, and the aging process.
- Sudden: Stress from sudden events can be caused by trauma or unexpected change.
- Continuous: Stress from continuous events such as chronic illness and caring for a loved one can be debilitating and exhausting.
- Social: Stress from social events such as relationship difficulties, financial issues, and work-related problems can have a lasting and serious impact on an individual’s physical and mental health.
Why Do We Experience Stress?
Stress is our body’s natural and adaptive response to any demand placed on it. In times of threat, danger, or uncertainty, our brain signals our body to respond to the situation by secreting hormones. Particularly cortisol – to prepare us to either meet the challenge or flee from harm.
As the name suggests, stress is meant to be a short-term situation. However, when we experience stress on a consistent basis – or in response to long-term. Negative situations such as trauma, financial strain, and relationship difficulties – we can experience negative effects on our health and well-being.
Stress can have both positive and negative effects on our lives. Depending on how we respond to the events that cause stress.
4 Simple Steps to Help Manage Your Everyday Stress
- Identify Your Stressors: First, it is important to understand when and where your stress is occurring. What are your everyday stressors? Is your stress related to work, family, finances, relationships, health, or something else? After you have identified your everyday stressors and triggers, you can work to find effective ways to manage them.
- Make Time for Self-Care: We often put others’ needs above our own, which is a wonderful thing. However, it is important to take time for self-care and self-reflection. Make time for your favorite activities – whether that’s a yoga class, taking a long walk, reading a book, or curling up on the couch with your favorite TV show
- Know When to Take a Break: Some level of stress is normal and healthy. However, if your stress levels are reaching an unmanageable point, it is important to know when to take a break. It is okay to put your own needs first by taking time off when needed.
- Find Support: It is important to find support when managing your everyday stress. This can be done by speaking with a loved one, joining a support group, or even finding a mentor to help you navigate the challenges of everyday life.
Stress is our body’s natural and adaptive response to any demand placed on it. In times of threat, danger, or uncertainty, our brain signals our body to respond to the situation by secreting hormones.
As the name suggests, stress is a short-term situation. However, when we experience stress on a consistent basis – or in response to long-term, negative situations – we can experience negative effects on our health and well-being.
It is important to understand when and where your stress is occurring, and how to effectively manage it. Make time for self-care, know when to take a break, and find support to help you manage your everyday stress.