Anything that brings on feelings of stress is called a stressor. Today, people 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 chemicals (hormones) 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
Concentration may get worse
Forgetfulness may get worse
Stressors may include:
Adapting to constant, rapid change
Worrying about your finances or the economy
Handling a major life event, such as changing jobs, marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, or moving to a new home
Handling more than 1 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 1 challenging situation to the next without taking time to relax
Being overwhelmed by technology. For instance, keeping up with cellphone 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 or sleeping too much, 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 don't feel you're managing the stressors in your life well, get help from your healthcare provider or a mental health provider. There are many effective strategies that can help you adjust your environment and get your stress level under better control.