Impact of Stress and Ways to Reduce It
Published On Nov 09, 2020 5:30 AM By Sakshi Aggarwal
Stress has been an inevitable part of our life. Stress, in technical terms, is a situation when an individual is not able to cope with any specific demand or requirement, then they feel stressed. With the surge of the pandemic, the number of stressors has just escalated. We face numerous triggers towards stressful situations like family, relationships, or workplace issues. Or daily life stressors may be like daily responsibilities or coping with deadlines or losing your current job.
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How Stress Affects Our Body?
Stress, being acute or chronic, always has a huge effect on our health. It affects both physical and mental health adversely. Here is how stress impacts our health.
- Sleeplessness: With an increasing amount of stress, we often feel overwhelmed and restless. To cope with a difficult situation, we tend to overthink that particular situation until our consciousness wears out. This disrupts our Sleep cycle and results in insomnia or sleeplessness.
- Loss of Appetite: Our appetite is connected to the state of our mind. We feel less hunger while we are sad, angry, or stressed. This way, stress affects our sense of appetite to a great extent. We often skip meals when a stressful situation is encountered.
- Memory Issues: With recurrent involvement of stress, our mind gets distracted easily and has a shorter span of attention. With such a condition, the information is not recorded completely, and we face difficulties in the retrieval of memory. Stress affects our concentration severely. Our brain cannot focus on a particular thing completely while we are stuck on some other thought.
- High Blood Pressure and Diabetes: When we feel any sudden emergency, our body secretes hormones that cause a lot of physiological changes. Likewise, to fight a stressful situation, our liver produces excess blood sugar (glucose) to provide energy. When we are under chronic stress, our body cannot cope up with this excess blood sugar and results in developing type 2 Diabetes. Similarly, our blood vessel constricts when we are stressed, this causes an increase in blood pressure. This pressure persisting for a long time causes hypertension.
- Immune System: Stress hormones compromise our immune system if they remain in our system for a longer period. A high amount of stressors make people more prone to viral illnesses like the common cold, flu, and other infections. Stress makes the body take more time to heal any injury than usual.
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How to Reduce Stress?
As we now know how stress could affect our health severely. So here are some healthy measures one can take to reduce the amount of stress.
- Exercise and Meditation: To counter the level of stress, we need to calm our minds first. We can start with light exercises like brisk walking, cycling, etc. These activities enhance our pituitary gland to produce endorphins that are commonly known as happy hormones. These hormones lighten our mood and relax our minds. Meditation also helps in reducing stress as it relaxes our mind and prevents it from wandering.
- Taking Breaks: taking breaks or time-outs in our monotonous life cycle is essential. Even if you are a homemaker, you have to take out some time for yourself. We need to remind ourselves that being harsh on ourselves is not healthy in the longer run. You can relieve some of this pressure by taking holidays and enjoy being an individual self or distribute your responsibilities among your children.
- Journaling: Writing your thoughts is a great way to curb our stress and anxiety. This helps our unnecessary or negative thoughts to keep in check that causes unwanted stress. There are times when you will not be comfortable talking about your feelings so you can write your heart out instead.
- Practising Gratitude: According to studies, practising thankfulness, as a part of the daily schedule, reduces the level of stress. Being thankful for what you have reminds you of better things in life. This soothes the mind and prevents feelings of worthlessness.
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Stress cannot be removed completely, but we can reduce its impact on us. We can learn how to overcome stress and find ways to reduce it.
Disclaimer: This article is issued in general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.