What you need to know about stress
What you need to know about stress
By Christine Angela Ilagan
Adjusting to the new normal and fast-changing world can bring so much stress to almost everyone. The multiple demands in remote work setting while juggling household chores and taking care of kids, employees’ layoffs, careers instability, and new graduates facing the threat of unemployment challenges on the rise brought by the pandemic.
A recent survey conducted by Social Weather Stations from May 4 to 10, 2020 found that majority of Filipinos are stressed out. 55% of respondents were reported to experience “great stress” and 34 % percent suffered “much stress” due to COVID-19 crisis.
Whether the stress came from the recent health crisis or just being constantly under a high level of stress, these issues can still take a huge toll on your overall well-being. If ignored and remain unchecked, it can even lead to a bigger problem. So, stress awareness is a must. With that, here are the realities about the stress you need to know.
- Stress can affect the body
Stress can affect you in two ways, it’s either good or bad. Facing a stressful situation can be good when to manage and to control. Yet if it’s under high level and long-term stress, that’s when the problem kicks in.
It’s no longer new to us the many negative effects of chronic stress which leads to physical symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, headache, digestive problems, diarrhea, memory issues, muscle tension, skin conditions, weight gain, or weight loss, and even lack of concentration.
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Then, there’s a bigger chance that you’re dealing with a high level of stress.
Furthermore, stress was also found to cause asthma and arthritis. In a worst-case scenario, when chronic stress is left untreated, it can even contribute to the development of obesity, high blood pressure heart disease, and stroke which can impose a bigger health risk. Furthermore, stress has shown to worsen certain and existing illnesses, according to a study.
- Stress impacts our Mental Health
Stress doesn’t just affect the body but also the mind. As these two most important parts of our well-being are both connected to each other.
When your mind is under stress, it builds up cortisol, known as the “stress hormone”. This hormone plays a key role in your body’s “flight or fight” response. Thus, when you’re faced with constant stress, our body would produce too much cortisol. Overexposure to cortisol can put our mental health at risk.
Long term and chronic stress also increase the risk of sleeping disorder, anxiety, panic attacks, and even depression. In some extreme cases, traumatic experiences can also trigger Post-Traumatic Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. It could even kill brain cells in a study conducted by the researchers from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
And the list of negative effects of goes on, so proper management is always crucial in handling stressful situations.
Time and again, it’s important to remind yourself of what you can control. Let’s not freak out on things you don’t have any authority over. Be it this pandemic, or whatever you’re actually been long facing. Determine what you can work on and avoid overthinking. Be so busy improving yourself and solving the situation that you lose time to overthink.
- Stress hampers your productivity
Ever felt like you don’t want to go to work? Or, as if it’s okay for you to sleep in even if you’ll be late to work? Or maybe you lack focus and energy for the entire work shift? Then, chances are, you might have been stressed out.
Stress has become a new norm in the workplace. No one is totally exempted from it. And every day, it just gets harder and bigger especially when you’re moving up to the ladder of promotion.
Some studies have also reflected that chronic and improper management of stress hinders you to achieve your full potential and productivity. This is why restless employees often struggle with their attendance, poor quality of work, less creativity, not getting results, and even employee resignation.
- Chronic stress damages the relationship
It should come to no surprise that stress can also negatively affect the relationship. And truth is, stress is one of the culprits why family members or couples get into constant arguments, conflicts, or even worse, a ruined relationship.
Have you noticed that when someone is under stress, they often make a rash decision, becomes too sensitive, and even say hurtful words unintentionally? This is what chronic stress does to us.
In addition, stress is actually contagious, when your partner was too stressed out, you might end up getting too worked up at the same time. Hence, the stress that we keep bottled up inside due to our work, finances or even relationship becomes one of the reasons why couples don’t fully understand each other.
This is no wonder why stress depletes a person, losing their energy to spend quality time for their loved ones.
- Stress leads to addiction
There are three main types of stress, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), these are the routine stress from everyday events, stress resulting from a sudden negative change, or stress as the result of a traumatic event.
Stress is a personal thing as we all have different ways in coping up and dealing with it. However, poor stress management more particularly when faced with adverse life events like loss of a loved one, maltreatment, isolation, divorce, sexual/physical abuse, and even childhood traumatic experience makes people turn to an unwanted lifestyle which leads to addiction.
Addiction starts with getting temporary pleasures and relief. It can be in the form of drinking alcoholic beverages, stress eating which leads to binge eating, or casual sex, and worst, use of drugs.
Moreover, a high level of stress may trigger mental illness which can lead to addiction, and vice versa.
- Stress can be managed
It’s true that stress is something out of our control but good news, it’s still can be managed. Our mindset and behavior are the secrets to it. So, there’s no reason to panic that you’re going to get physically or mentally sick. Otherwise, you might end up worried and anxious which eventually lead to sickness.
Bear in mind that when you’re too overburden and dealing with a high level of stress, make sure to talk it out with the right people. You may seek help from a psychologist or mental health advocate, or just simply talking over even with family and friends. Sharing it to the people in the church can also be a great help.
And make sure to know the real root cause of your stress so you’ll know how to address and manage it effectively.
Be wary of your own stress meter. No one else can identify your own stress, but you.
You might also develop a habit of meditating, breathing practices when anxious, or try a new hobby such as reading a book, doing some artwork, watching funny videos, and take time to unplug from social networking sites.
Disconnecting for quite some time gives you the chance to search your inner deep thoughts.
As James Carroll emphasized, “There are times when we stop, we sit still. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.”
- Stress can be shifted to happiness
Just as shaking off a hard day to a happy day, shifting from stressful situations to happiness can be totally hard. Though however, this may seem to be, the positive result of managing stress effectively is beyond better for us and for the people around us.
When stress is managed properly, we can reap its numerous positive effects.
Yet, making the shift is not for the lazy one because it requires knowledge, wisdom, getting help from others, a change in oneself, self-improvement, discipline, and persistence.
So, don’t limit your mind to the idea that you have to let stress weary and stressed you out. You need to take action so you can achieve a better you. And of course, it all starts in the mind. Feed your mind with good thoughts. You are what you put your mind into.
It’s always true to the saying, “You are what you consume.”
Take this time to improve yourself whether it be reading books or through education. It’s much easier now to get the training you need through online webinars and online courses. Webinars nowadays are just simply a click away so take advantage of it.
Need more help? FAME Leaders’ Academy is also offering webinars that can help you develop a proper perspective and achieve a better you. We have webinars within your reach.
For more info on our webinar topics, you may click here: