Stress is the body’s way of responding to any threat, demand or challenge. For many of us, stress is so common that it has become our way of life. Sometimes, stress can be a positive force motivating us to do our best and even keeping us safe when in danger.
However, when it occurs for a long period of time, it can have negative effects on our health, relationships, mood and quality of life. However, we can protect ourselves by understanding the way our body’s stress response works, being able to identify the symptoms and signs of stress overload and taking action to reduce its damaging effects. Continue reading to learn more:
The Body’s Stress Response
When we feel threatened, our nervous system responds by producing numerous stress hormones (e.g. cortisol, adrenaline etc.) that rouse our bodies for emergency action. Our senses suddenly become sharper, heart pounds faster, blood pressure rises, muscles tighten and breath quickens.
These physical changes enhance our focus, increase our stamina and strength and accelerate our reaction time. This is called the fight or flight response, and it’s our body’s way of protecting us.
When stress occurs within our comfort zone, it helps us stay alert, energetic, and focused. For instance, in emergency situations, it can save our lives by giving us extra strength to defend ourselves.
In addition, stress also helps us rise to meet challenges. It is what drives us to study for an exam or prepare for a presentation at work instead of watching TV or sleeping.
Many people often resort to fight or flight when responding to every minor stressor because that’s how they’ve been conditioned. However, because this kind of response interferes with other body functions, over time, it can lead to stress overload, causing harmful effects to both our physical and mental health.
Too much stress for instance, increases blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, increases the risk of stroke and heart attack, accelerates the aging process, and increases our vulnerability to many health problems including weight gain or loss, skin conditions, digestive problems, autoimmune diseases, sleep problems, depression etc.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms…
Symptoms of Stress Overload
- a) Constipation or diarrhea
- b) Pains and aches
- c) Frequent colds
- d) Nausea and dizziness
- e) Loss of sex drive
- a) Short temper
- b) Moodiness
- c) Feeling overwhelmed
- d) Sense of isolation and loneliness
- e) Depression
- a) Using cigarettes, alcohol and drugs to relax
- b) Neglecting responsibilities or procrastinating
- c) Sleeping too little or too much
- d) Isolating yourself from other people
- e) Eating less or more
- a) Poor judgment
- b) Inability to concentrate
- c) Constant worrying
- d) Memory problems
- e) Seeing only the negative
Keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other medical and psychological problems. So, if you’re experiencing any of them, you should see a doctor to help find out if they’re stress-related or not.
Stress is something alarmingly common these days, so here are some of the best quotes to give you some inspiration in relation to stress…
How To Deal With Stress
Here are some simple ways to deal with stress.
- a) Stop worrying about things you can’t control e.g. a bad weather.
- b) Share whatever is stressing you with a trusted friend, family member or counselor.
- c) Take care of yourself by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating well balanced meals.
- d) Set realistic goals both at work and home.
- e) Create time to participate in things that make you happy.
- f) Meditate.
If you need more information on how to deal with stress, read these stress inspirational quotes below.
Stress Inspirational Quotes
1. “Worrying won’t stop the bad things from happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good.”
2. “When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.”
– Catherine Pulsifer
3. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive–to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
– Marcus Aurelius
4. “The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.”
– Andrew Bernstein
5. “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
6. “Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.”
– Marilu Henner
7. “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.”
– David Allen
8. “How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish.”
– Catherine Pulsifer
9. “There are thousands of causes for stress, and one antidote to stress is self-expression. That’s what happens to me every day. My thoughts get off my chest, down my sleeves and onto my pad.”
– Garson Kanin
10. “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.'”
– Eckhart Tolle