The Effects Of Stress And How To Reduce It

Stress is one of the most common body reactions. It involves a change in the environment that requires the body to react and adjust. The body reacts to these changes through mental, physical and emotional responses.

Stress is normal to the body. Various things 
happen that require the body to change throughout life and it is what makes you feel alive. There is both bad and good stress depending on what you do and how often you expose the body to stress.

Given that stress is a natural part of human life, everyone experiences it from time to time. Anything from daily work, family life, placing a bet to win the lottery or even more serious issues like the loss of a job or death of a loved one exposes the body to stress.

When you experience a stressor the body reacts by the flight or fight response. The body becomes active as the heart rate increases while your breath quickens and your muscles become ready for action. However, you risk various health issues if you keep exposing your body to stress, so it's good to be able to manage it.

Symptoms of stress

woman stressed

Stress can affect every part of the body whether physical or mental and can affect behaviour. Given the varying possible effects, different people also react to stress differently, therefore, there is a wide range of symptoms of stress.

Some of the common symptoms of stress are below.

Emotional symptoms


The emotional impacts of stress are easily noticeable. and include agitation, and frustration. You can also feel overwhelmed like you are losing control and you may also find it hard to take control being indecisive. 

Finding it difficult to relax or be at peace can also be due to stress. You could also start to have low self-esteem, feel lonely and feel worthless. You may also start avoiding people.

Physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of stress include; lethargy, headaches, stomach upsets, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections. You might also experience low sex drive, nervousness and shaking, and a dry mouth.

Cognitive symptoms

worrying woman

The various cognitive issues that come with stress involve; constant worrying, racing thoughts, forgetfulness, inability to focus and poor judgement. You can also tend to be overly pessimistic and tend to focus only on the negatives.

Effects of stress

Stress is a normal part of human life. The body is made to experience stress and react accordingly. That is why there is both positive and negative stress. Positive stress includes getting a job promotion that is wanted, getting married or winning a lottery jackpot. The stress involved here helps keep the body active and alert. It's a positive thing that has happened.  Negative stress includes being overworked, death of a loved one, or losing ones job. It's a negative thing that has happened.

If the body keeps getting continuous challenges without a break, then the stress becomes negative. At this point, the person feels overwhelmed.

Once the stress levels compound, it is when you start experiencing the symptoms like headaches, elevated blood pressure and sleeping problems. This is also the time when various health problems come in.

Stress becomes even more harmful when you resort to drugs and substances as a way to manage it. Instead of relieving stress, the substance only compounds it. Under the influence, you might feel free from stress. However, immediately you become sober the stress resumes. You can end up being addicted to deal with the stress. It's a negative coping mechanism. You need to learn how to live without stress in Lottoland's article about stress.

Ways to ease stress

While no one can totally avoid stress, you can find ways to ease it. Some of these ways include;

Eat and drink healthy food

While it might seem easy to resort to drugs, alcohol and caffeine to relieve stress, they will only increase the stress levels. You need a proper diet to keep you healthy and help the body combat stress.

Exercise regularly

hiking

Exercise helps the body manage stress as it keeps you in the best shape. It also helps in releasing endorphins, the hormones that keep you feeling better and having a positive attitude. Walking in nature has been shown to help stress. Other exercises you can try include hiking, cycling, dance classes or Zumba for example.

Practicing relaxation techniques


It is normal that the mind will wander from time to time. You might even start to overthink situations. The best way to keep your mind and body is by relaxing. Look for various relaxation techniques like meditation, imagery and deep breathing to keep you mindful and relaxed.

Establish your values and live by them

The best way to lead your life free from stress is by having values in life and sticking with them. For example compassion for others, authenticity and self-respect. From time to time life might get hard. You might also be in a position where you have to make hard decisions. However, with the values and principles you have in life, you will always know what works best for you.

Be assertive

Stress also comes when forced to do what you feel is not right. By being assertive you get the power to say no to anything that does not align with your goals or needs. That way being assertive helps you keep sane.

Bottom Line

Positive stress is good for the human body. You need to strive for it. Look for ways to achieve things or achieving new goals. However, always ensure you do not expose the body to repeated challenges without taking a break. Learn to cope with stress and you will feel better for it.

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