Stress is everywhere. It’s inevitable and, like a crippling disease, once you catch it, all other aspects of your life could get knocked down like a row of dominoes. A single stressor can cause a chain reaction that could impact your relationships, physical wellness, work performance, and inner peace. Different life events can stress a person out. There are also factors that can make stress worse. These are things that you would want to stay away from in order to avoid aggravating your condition. Before we get to know what these factors are, let us first try to comprehend what stress is and how it affects how we function on a daily basis.
What is stress?
Stress is described as the body’s response to situations or changes that cause one to become tensed, nervous, frustrated, or angry. When the body feels that something is challenging or threatening, it releases chemicals that alert one’s system to go into battle mode. This is when one person feels stressed. The most common examples are situations that demand change or adjustment. This is the reason why most people who find a new job or transfer to a new home experience a certain level of stress.
What Causes Stress?
It is easy to get stressed in this highly demanding, modern world. People are forced to adjust to the demands of their job and cope with the requirements of their lifestyle. A lot of people feel pressured just to be able to keep up with their peers.
One of the most common causes of stress is one’s finances. Money matters sound too trivial to be disconcerting, but the truth is, they are. For most people who have families to feed, the fact that they have to struggle to make ends meet is already reason enough to be stressed out. This problem also entails concerns of not having enough for the day, not knowing how to survive tomorrow, and fears of the possibility of losing their homes or their family.
Health problems also cause people to become stressed. Apart from the physical ailments people feel, there are other emotional problems that result from physical illnesses. For instance, sick people have a tendency to become depressed or anxious. These issues alone are stressful. If people consider the financial burdens brought about by getting sick, stress becomes worse.
Another common cause of stress is a sudden change. This could mean altering one’s environment, going out of someone’s comfort zone, or even the sudden change caused by losing a loved one. All these changes demand a certain level of adjustment and, as a response, the body releases stress hormones in order to adapt.
What Things Make Stress Even Worse?
People are unaware that apart from changes that cause stress, there are also practices that make stress worse. Most of these are part of our daily lives.
1. Sleep Deprivation. Getting enough sleep is often one of the best ways to combat health issues. Similarly, not getting enough sleep results to inefficiency in handling stress. Improving one’s sleeping habits will help the mind concentrate and become more alert, and therefore become more capable of processing stressful situations. Not giving the body the break that it needs increases the risks of getting fatigued and stressed.
2. Poor Diet. The body needs essential vitamins and minerals to function optimally. A healthy diet helps reduce one’s chances of contracting diseases. In terms of coping with emotional conditions, food contains nutrients that help boost one’s mood and improve one’s ability to think critically and rationally. Not feeding the body right is depriving it of much needed supplements that could power up the immune system, as well as enhance psychological and emotional flexibility.
3. Lack of Exercise. As exercise sharpens the mind and the body, lack of it also makes physical and mental capabilities dull, thus weakening our coping mechanisms. Without a strong form of defense against stress and other emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression, the body will easily succumb to pressure. Exercising daily improves the body’s response units and develop physical and psychological aptitude.
4. Isolation. Some people may not realize it, but not communicating with peers, especially during times of stress is similar to refusing to receive the help that is being or may be extended to you. Isolating oneself leads to ruminating and endless cycles of irrational overthinking. During this time, the already stressed brain is bombarded with more negative situations that only makes things worse.
5. Lack of Self Care. You are not asked to pamper yourself but proper self-care is also important to maintain a sense of balance and have a form of retreat from stress. Some battles are best fought by not fighting back at all. In this case, thinking more about stress may exacerbate it even more. Therefore, taking time to sit back and walk away from stress may prove to be a better option. Stressful times cannot be handled by more overthinking. Sometimes, diversion is the right course to take.
Stress has been a thing for so long but some people still lack proper information in terms of coping with it. People continue practicing habits as part of their routine, unsuspecting that these actually make stress worse. Now that you are better informed, it is best to avoid these aggravating factors and instead, exercise conscious self-care.