Anything that brings on feelings of stress is called a stressor. Today, we often face many stressors. Read on to find out how stress affects you and how you can gain control.
When you’re faced with stress, certain hormones (chemicals) in your body are released. These hormones trigger many changes in your body. For instance, your:
Blood pressure may rise
Heart may pound
Muscles may tighten
Stomach may become tense
Stressors may include:
Adapting to constant, rapid change
Worrying about your finances and the economy
Handling a major life event, such as changing jobs or moving to a new home
Handling more than one major life event at the same time, for instance, dealing with a family illness while changing jobs
Juggling many roles and responsibilities, such as spouse or life partner, parent, friend, employee, and caregiver for aging parents
Going from one challenging situation to the next without taking time to relax
Being overwhelmed by technology such as, keeping up with cell phone messages, e-mails, and text messages
If you’re often under stress, you need to learn to manage it well. Stress can affect your well-being. Over time, you may show some of these symptoms of being stressed:
Physical. Frequent colds or flu, headaches, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, skin problems, trouble with digestion
Mental. Poor concentration, forgetfulness, learning problems, frequent negative thoughts, speech problems
Emotional. Anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, feelings of helplessness, lack of purpose, relationship troubles
Behavioral. Eating poorly, driving recklessly, abusing alcohol or drugs, being accident prone, showing aggression
If you do not believe you are successfully managing the stressors in your life, get help from your healthcare provider or a mental health professional. There are many effective strategies that can help you adjust your environment and get your stress level under better control.
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