Every living being in the world often experiences stress. It is basically a physical response of the brain and the body to any potential threat or demand.
When your body feels the potential of stress it releases a complex mix of hormones and chemicals causing a number of reactions in the body. These reactions could be your knees and hands getting shaky; your palms get sweaty, and your heartbeat and breathing getting faster. These reactions are caused due to the release of a hormone called adrenaline which temporarily affects your nervous system. Some people can recover from stressful events more quickly than others. A stress reaction may be a one-time event, for short period of time or can frequently be happening over a long period of time. You might experience stress from day to day activities, like the pressure of work, school, family, divorce, illness, events like an accident, natural disaster etc.
However, stress can be life-saving in some situations:
• Stressful situations lead to the release of chemicals which can give you a boost of energy, which also enables you to focus your attention so you can react quickly to the situation.
• The quickness of pulse, faster breathing, use of more oxygen and increased activity in your brain are all aimed at your body to prepare to face a threat.
• The stress response can help you perform well under pressure. It can help you mount to a challenge; focus and can boost your energy. It is a part of learning and growing up.
• It can also motivate you while preparing or performing certain tasks like take a test or an interview for a new job.
Everyone is exposed to stressful situations in their lifetime. How an individual copes with it can lead to a wide variety of health problems.
• If the stress response goes on for a long period of time it is called chronic stress which can hamper your health. During chronic stress, the mixed hormones and chemicals get released rapidly. These can suppress the immune system, sleep, digestion and reproductive system.
• A longer period of stress can release chemicals which can leave a person to feeling tired or overwhelmed.
• People who suffer from stress for long durations of time can become sick, unable to concentrate or think and even suffer from mental breakdowns.
• Chronic stress can cause one to drink too much alcohol or intake of nicotine which can increase your blood pressure and may damage the artery walls.
The continued strain of stress in your body can cause mental disorders like depression or anxiety.
We should all take steps to manage stress so that it does not impact our health. There are different methods such as Yoga, meditation, etc. which help to alleviate stress.