Stress is usually a situation or experience with which you are in a disagreeable state, a response to physical and emotional demands, which can be good or bad. Is there a good stress?, you may ask, yes, many things you call it to be a pleasant feeling like a bike ride, the love and warmth, the butterflies in your stomach on your wedding day, is nothing but stress.
Stress, sometimes can even be a life saver, for example, when a person attains speed and strength to flee from danger when he encounters a life-threatening situation.
We usually refer to unpleasant stress when we talk or mention about stress, which is usually set in motion because of harmful events and circumstances, made worse by our perceptions and thoughts.
Anxiety vs Stress
Stress is the result of pressures in our daily life, stress in short is a reaction or response to threat or conflicting situation and usually a short term experience. While Anxiety is a sustained mental health disorder, anxiety is the negative effect of stress and mostly stems out of fear or apprehension.
Types of Stress
We usually talk or read about negative or detrimental effects of stress, but all stress do not affect us the same way, and all stress or not bad, to be precise we experience various kinds of stress, daily in our lives.
“Eustress”, is derived from Greek which means “Good Stress” (Eu means Good), this is the kind of stress that keeps our lives happy and exciting. Eustress happens wen we are presented a challenging situation, and we find it stimulating and work on to overcome the challenge.
Eustress happens even when we enjoy a party or a wild roller coaster ride, especially if you are the one who find it thrilling rather than terrifying.
Acute Stress is short lived , mostly happens as a response to certain events like a challenging test or a mind bender. Acute stress do not take a toll on you physically or mentally unless they happen constantly. Acute stress usually do not require complete stress management plans, few quick stress relief technique is enough.
This kind of stress result due to the pile up of acute stress, this kind of stress takes a toll on your physical body, mental aspects and usually you will have no chance of returning to normal levels. Most of us experience this on a regular basis and at different levels of intensity. Stress management plans may come in handy and may be able to avoid situations that result in stress, and we can try to adapt and minimize the damaging effects to certain extent.
We experience this kind of stress when we are in or subjected to situations that are unpredictable or demanding jobs, conflict in relationships and living a tight schedule or activities without considerable rest or downtime. Chronic stress is usually overwhelming, without a possible way out, it is at this point, we will be at the risk of losing hope, scrambling without any solutions for the problems we face and eventually try to quit or give up on trying.
Effect of Stress on the body
Stress affects us both physically and mentally, and may vary with different individuals, because we are unique in our responses to the situations.
Stress can cause constipation, acid reflux, irritable bowl syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Stress also results in obesity and other health issues related to digestive system.
Stress is in fact a serious threat to health, though short term stress can cause heart irregularities, long term stress leads to heart disease, high cholesterol level in blood, arryhthmias, high blood pressure and risk of stroke.
Stress leads to anxiety and depression. Stress affects relationships, as our behavior changes when we are stressed and affects the quality of life and affects health.
People who are stressed are more vulnerable to infectious diseases, and slows down the healing capabilities of your body, long term stress will weaken your health and more susceptible to all environmental threats.
Symptoms of Stress
It’s almost impossible to say the kind of stress we experience, because it affects us in unique ways. But there are few signs that will give us the clear picture of stress levels.
- Excessive sweating
- Cold hands and feet
- Digestion issues, upset stomach
- Emotional eating or loss of appetite
- Muscle tension, twitches, or shakes
- Quickened pulse or heart palpitations
- Nervous tics, nail-biting, hair-pulling
- Impatience, frustration, hostility
- Frequent Headaches
- Feelings of depression, anxiety, panic, or being overwhelmed
- Lowered libido
- Difficulty with concentration and remembering
- Feelings of tiredness and laziness
- Sleep issues