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 is real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight-or-freeze” reaction, or the stress response. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you are attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam.
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. However, when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects. 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.
It is important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. Stress symptoms include mental, social, and physical manifestations. These include exhaustion, loss of/increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and over-sleeping. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behavior are often indications. Feelings of alarm, frustration, or apathy may accompany stress. The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently. Not only can overwhelming stress lead to serious mental and physical health problems, it can also take a toll on your relationships at home, work, and school.
Some things you can do to manage your stress are:
Avoid unnecessary stress.
Alter your situation.
Adapt to what is stressing you. Look at the big picture.
Accept what you cannot change.
Other things you can do are; get plenty of sleep, eat health, get good exercise, and take out time for yourself. There are times when some may not be able to handle stress on their own, if you know someone or if you need help, seek guidance from a professional counselor he/she can better assist you in dealing with your life stressors.