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Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.

Lets see what’s STRESS..

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger – whether it’s real or imagined – the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, its STRESS.

Beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

The body doesn’t distinguish between physical and psychological threats. When you’re stressed over a busy schedule, an argument with a friend, a traffic jam, or a mountain of bills, your body reacts just as strongly as if you were facing a life-or-death situation. If you have a lot of responsibilities and worries, your emergency stress response may be “on” most of the time. The more your body’s stress system is activated, the easier it is to trip and the harder it is to shut off.

Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

Let’s see the causes of stress..

The situations and pressures that cause stress are known asstressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship.

However, anything that puts high demands on you or forces you to adjust can be stressful. This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion.

For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.

Common external causes of stress

§ Major life changes

§ Work

§ Relationship difficulties

§ Financial problems

§ Being too busy

§ Children and family

Common internal causes of stress:

§ Inability to accept uncertainty

§ Pessimism

§ Negative self-talk

§ Unrealistic expectations

§ Perfectionism

§ Lack of assertiveness

Warning signs & symptoms of STRESS..

Cognitive Symptoms

Emotional Symptoms

§ Memory problems

§ Inability to concentrate

§ Poor judgment

§ Seeing only the negative

§ Anxious or racing thoughts

§ Constant worrying

§ Moodiness

§ Irritability or short temper

§ Agitation, inability to relax

§ Feeling overwhelmed

§ Sense of loneliness and isolation

§ Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms

Behavioral Symptoms

§ Aches and pains

§ Diarrhea or constipation

§ Nausea, dizziness

§ Chest pain, rapid heartbeat

§ Loss of sex drive

§ Frequent colds

§ Eating more or less

§ Sleeping too much or too little

§ Isolating yourself from others

§ Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

§ Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax

§ Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Finally, let’s see whether we are in stress or not:

For this let’s see some questions and ask ourselves-

§ When I feel agitated, do I know how to quickly calm and soothe myself?

§ Can I easily let go of my anger?

§ Can I turn to others at work to help me calm down and feel better?

§ When I come home at night, do I walk in the door feeling alert and relaxed?

§ Am I seldom distracted or moody?

§ Am I able to recognize upsets that others seem to be experiencing?

§ Do I easily turn to friends or family members for a calming influence?

§ When my energy is low, do I know how to boost it?

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