People today are tense. A proof? According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 4 workers experience severe stress at work. Not to mention the various life events, such as illness, job loss or bereavement, which can cause significant stress. So let’s try to see more clearly!
DEFINITION OF STRESS
Stress is vital. Without it, your brain and body would not be able to respond effectively when danger arises. A certain degree of stress is therefore beneficial, whether it is to face a threat, to study better before an exam or to perform well at work. Stress is made up of three elements, the combinations of which vary widely, namely: the stressor, the reaction to stress and the attitude.
The stressor (source)
Physical, mental, social or emotional stimulus to which one must adapt. He can be minor or major; positive or negative; exceptional or continuous; expected or unexpected. Some medications can also cause stress. For more information, consult your pharmacist .
The stress response
Instant physiological reactions (increased heart rate, tightening of blood vessels, adrenaline rush, etc.) to a stimulus. They are used to make the body react according to the situation.
How the stimulus is perceived by the mind. The intensity of the stress reaction depends on the message sent to the endocrine glands by the brain. In short, stress is an involuntary psychological and physiological response of your body to a difficult situation to which you must adapt.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF STRESS?
Stress manifests itself in different ways in each individual. Symptoms can be physiological, psychological, emotional, or behavioral. Among these, we find:
- decreased sexual desire;
- increased consumption of certain substances (eg, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, drugs, etc.);
- tendency towards isolation;
- lack of concentration;
- the headache ;
- problems with digestion, sleep or appetite;
- muscle tension;
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS?
Introducing a breathing moment into your daily routine has several benefits for the body. Mindful breathing helps regulate the level of cortisol (the stress hormone), blood pressure, pain and heart rates. It also works to stimulate blood flow, the production of endorphins which help fight depression, improve sleep, bring your brain to a new state of attention, and help better manage your symptoms. emotions, especially negative.
Exercising regularly is also a good way to naturally increase your level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps modulate mood and keep us alert. A hormone of well-being and happiness, what! And how does it work? By stimulating its muscles, the brain secretes serotonin, which has the benefit of improving energy, vitality and dynamism, up to several hours after activity.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STRESS AND DISTRESS?
Warning! If you have constant anxiety and it keeps you from dealing with day-to-day challenges, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor.
A state of chronic stress can lead to much more serious problems, such as generalized anxiety, panic attack, neurosis, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression.
The majority of these disorders are manifested by inordinate anxiety that persists for a prolonged period. The symptoms are numerous: hot flashes, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, chest pain or discomfort, feeling of suffocation, fatigue, recurring unpleasant thoughts, inability to relax, irritability, headaches, phobias, etc. Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health problems. If you think you are suffering from such a problem, do not hesitate to consult a doctor. If it is of psychological origin, psychotherapy may be the best treatment.