Stress, symptoms, causes & management skills

Photo: Curtesy

Stress, symptoms, causes & management skills

Stress refers to the way one’s body responds to any kind of demand while stress management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people and events make excessive demands.

Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress.

Life is full of frustrations and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you – without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless.

Stress within your comfort zone can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. However, when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health, mood, relationships and quality of life.

In this text we shall focus on stress that is bad for you.

Photo: Curtesy

You can protect yourself by understanding the different levels of stress, recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress overload, and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.

Levels of stress

There are different categories of stress.

  1. Hypo stress- This is when you don’t have energy and interest of doing something.
  2. Euestress- This is the type of stress that you feel being excited and ready to do something for instance when you are ready to do exams.
  3. Distress- This affects personality and relationships for instance you are called by teachers in school that your daughter has sneaked out of school.
  4. Hyper stress- This is a very dangerous level since mostly it is associated with rape, murder, over indulgence i.e. drunkenness. It can lead to madness if not well managed.

Symptoms of stress

  1. Insomnia- lack of sleep
  2. Mental decay- Imagine a state where you even forget the name of your wife or husband.
  3. Lack of concentration- One becomes absent minded.
  4. Ever annoyed or irritated.

Result of stress

  1. Leads to hypertension
  2. Blindness
  3. Hallucinations/ Imaginations
  4. Delusion/ suspicion
  5. Unco-operative

Causes of stress

  1. Financial problem
  2. Work place stress
  • Feel undermined- When colleagues look down upon you.
  • Demotion/ Promotion
  • Unclear job description
  • Failure to give task priority
  • Feeling personally inadequacy
  • Being overworked
  • Sense of loosing job.
  1. Personal relationship
  • Relationship with your children, neighbors, youths, being dumped by somebody you loved and colleagues at work.
  • Childlessness/ Barrenness
  1. Health problems
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Development stages

Other causes

  1. Working in a strenuous environment
  2. Feeling discriminated i.e. body structure, age, gender etc.

How to manage stress

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Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control.

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, these strategies can help you to cope:

The first step in managing stress is to understand where these feelings are coming from. Keep a stress diary to identify the causes of short-term or frequent stress in your life.

As you write down events, think about why this situation stresses you out.

Next, list the things that stress you in order of their impact. Which affect your health and well-being most? And which affect your work and productivity?

Then, consider using some of the approaches below to manage your stress. You will find that you can likely be able to use a mix of strategies from each area.

  1. Eat balanced diet
  2. Have exercise
  3. Have enough rest
  4. Shake your body
  5. Attend parties
  6. Learn to delegate duties
  7. Avoid setting high expectations
  8. Be honest
  9. Co-operate, compromise, compete and reconciliation
  10. Have positive thinking
  11. Be flexible- Accept things that cannot be changed
  12. Learn to forgive- If somebody wronged you never hold grudges forgive and forget.
  13. Avoid people who stress you – Limit time with such fellows.
  14. Make new friends
  15. Do something you enjoy everyday

If stress persists you will be prescribed to drugs. Therefore forget the past and move on.