“It’s not stress that kills us, but our reaction to it.”

Stress is always seemed to be a negative and bad thing. But, what actually stress is?

Stress is our body’s reaction toward a dangerous or challenging situation. When our body senses any kind of real or imagined threat, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid and automatic process known as Stress Response.

It is also known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction. During the response, the body thinks that there is an attack situation and releases various hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine, which leads to body rising for an emergency situation. The heart pounds faster, blood pressure rises, muscles tighten, breath quickens, and digestion slows; all our senses become sharper. All this increases our ability to fight with the danger and makes us more focussed.

This response is not necessarily a bad thing and is necessary for the survival of humankind. Without stress, our life would have been monotonous and aimless. Stress can motivate people to perform in a better manner. At times like examinations or interviews, stress helps.

Also, imagine when a person suddenly comes in front of your car, it is this stress only that pushes us to apply brakes and thus, can be life-saving at times. But, that doesn’t mean stress is good every time. Excess of everything is bad, and so with stress.

What really matters is our thinking towards a particular event; some people only care about the fruits, while others worry about the whole cultivation process. So, if we think that our resources are enough to deal with a situation, we don’t feel stressed; but, if we think our resources are not enough to deal with the situation, we feel stressed.
Stress affects everyone. We all feel stressed at one point of life or other, what really matters is our way to deal with that stress. Stress becomes bad when stress becomes chronic. If we feel burdened or worry about little things a whole day, our body develops a habit to stay in a stressed situation, which leads to various health problems such as anxiety, depression, body pain, insomnia, cardiac, nervous and digestive problems, obesity, frequent cold, frequent urination and excessive sweating, menstrual problems,  changes in appetite, nervousness, addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling.

Various causes of stress include abortion, job dissatisfaction, driving in bad traffic, pollution, retirement, noisy environment, overburden at work or school, financial problems, rapid thinking, lack of flexibility, unrealistic goals or expectations.

Various stressful life events include the death of a close one, marriage or divorce, pregnancy, miscarriage or abortion, injury or accidents, job loss, imprisonment, retirement, etc.

There are various things that influence our stress tolerance level such as our support system, our attitude towards our life, our thought process, our knowledge, our ability to deal with emotions, etc.

Stress is a part of everybody’s life. Learning how to deal with or manage stress is essential.

One should recognize the signs and consult the doctor at an early stage only.

Regular exercise, yoga, meditation and relaxing exercises help in managing stress.

Set realistic goals that can be fulfilled and stay connected with your family, friends, and colleagues.

Learn to say no to alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and caffeine.

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