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Stress: Symptoms, Causes and Management

Updated on June 2, 2011

You may not even realize that you are stressed because stress is inescapable in today’s life-style with multiple demands and goals and limited time. Take care, for there is slow but definite adverse psychological and physiological repercussions. Yet it is not only manageable but it is quite possible to lead a completely stress free life.

Multiple factors like ‘work’, ‘school’, and ‘home’ can add pressure and stress. Medical evidences abound that stress can damage your heart and mind even as Physical damage caused by stress may not be evident for years. But the stress actually kills a person all of a sudden. Most of us under stress may not be even aware that we do. Stress journal might perhaps enable you to detect stress indicators. Signs like unprovoked ‘loud and curt response’; not eating even when hungry, recurring and persistent worry, disturbed reasoning, jumbled emotion and thoughts, and sleeplessness are warning symptoms.

These are the initial stress symptoms that should not be taken lightly. It might exacerbate further. Or can be controlled provided you recognize these symptoms and take the following steps: (i) identify the causes of stress (ii) make a plan to cope up with stress; make a to do list, replace negative thoughts with positive ones (iii) implement the plan

During the stress management regime, even an unexpected minor problem can trigger panic on setting stress. Their physical symptoms include pain from head to neck and back with a clogged and confused mind. Try to forget the nagging worry. Sniff fresh air out in the garden. Watch birds, flowers, and greenery. Immerse in the beauty of nature. Stress will then vanish away. Peace and calm will overwhelm you when you're in a better mental state to address the cause of your worry.

Please know it for sure that life is a series of challenges and no challenge is unsurmountable. There are coping strategies for different stressors. You must accept things deep down as they are. Remain positively energized. See life in its varied aspects.

Meditation addresses stress more powerfully than medication, as recent studies in ‘brain’ indicate. "What we found is that the longtime practitioners showed brain activation on a scale we have never seen before," asserts Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin’s new $10 million W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, who conducted experiments on Tibetan Lamas. Some of these monks produced more powerful gamma wave activity than any reported earlier in a healthy person.

Expertd like Dr James Gordon and Dr Cassileth outline steps to cope up with stress especially for those affected by war and violence: (i) Imagination being worse than reality, it is better to remain well informed (ii) Over exposure to violence or war related news must be avoided (iii) Seek out support with friends and relatives for emotional comfort. (iv) Unstructured life can make you uncomfortable so adopt a routine (iv) Go outdoors and exercise, as it will enhance your confidence and physical exercise releases your stress, and you'll feel stronger. (v) Don't do too many things at the same time as it can be overwhelming and confusing. Do one thing at a time as it gets you focused (vi) Practice mind-body connection through deep breathing and meditation techniques such as massaging, yoga, breathing exercises. Taking warm water bath with scented water, and listening to soft music while bathing helps. (vii) Volunteering helps you in seveal ways like you get the feelings of being in control, being productive, and useful to others, and takes worries off your mind. (viii) Speak out to vent out your anger if you feel strongly about war. You may vent out your angst through penning or demonstrating on streets. Remaining silent doesn't help.

Young students in campuses are also stressed for various reasons. But food, drug, alcohol, and tobacco are definitely counter productive in managing stress, while meditation, yoga, and physical exercises can have positive benefits. The students might like to access professional counseling available within or off campus.

Stress is a nuisance of modern lifestyle. There are several challenges of life such as shortage of money and time, multiple demands and expectations from an individual. They combine together to trigger stress. Similarly war, and violence, and their repeated coverage on TV can trigger stress. And stress always comes with consequences like depression and other mental problems such as suicidal tendencies.

The physical ailments caused by stress include rise in blood cholesterol, blood pressure, heart ailments. Stress in extreme cases can lead to sudden death. But stress can be managed. The steps involved in stress management include identifying causes of stress, addressing those issues, accepting the reality, making a plan of action to cope up with stress and working out the plan.

Stress can be addressed with physical exercise, and meditation to a great extent. Positive thinking energizes mind, and body. There are other strategies like socializing and connecting to network, connecting to nature, deep breathing exercises, developing a peaceful and calm mental disposition, setting priorities, and leading a routine life, volunteering, and channeling your anger through one medium or the other. .



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