Understanding and Managing Stress
By ABCS RCM
Stress is a common occurrence that all people experience at some point during their day. However, excessive stress can impact an individual’s health. People should have an understanding about why they even experience stress as well as can be done to limit and manage these potentially toxic emotions.
Stress is how the body responds to demands or stressors that are placed on it. Some of these demands include work, exercise, school work, traumatic events, etc. Stress affects people’s health and they should not be ashamed of admitting that they feel tense and anxious. This is sound advice for both adults and children.
It is important that they recognize major stressful events so that they will know when to seek help from a behavioral or mental health professional.
Rates of Stress – Nationally & Globally:
In 2018, about one-third of people around the world consider themselves to be overly stressed. In the United States alone, more than one-half of respondents felt overly stressed. For Americans, 45 percent felt worried, while 22 percent felt angry. This is a statistical increase from 2017.
The country’s general stress level also increased, with 55 percent of Americans stating that they experienced stress. This is much higher than the global average of 35 percent. Americans between the ages of 15 and 49 years old were the most stressed, worried and angry in the United States. Globally, the nation with the most stressed population was Greece at 59 percent.
What Actually is Stress?
According to the American Psychological Association, stress is the body and brain’s reaction to a short-lived situation. Situation can include anything from being late to work, missing an important deadline or trying to comfort a crying child. Stress can also last for a longer period of time, such as when people have relationship problems or are confronted with the death of a loved one.
People tend to experience stress in different ways. Which means that their thoughts and behaviors are different when they fell under pressure. These sources of stress may originate from feelings related to relationships, physical health, financial issues, work, etc. In all of these cases though, people experiencing intense stress may have a hard time concentrating, feel irritable, have headaches or have a lack of overall energy.
There are actually different types of stress that a people can experience. However, all types of stress can leave people feeling tired, out of focus and irritable. In fact, over time unmanaged stress can interfere with people’s everyday life and eventually damage their health. Because of these different stress types, and how they manifest themselves; it is sometimes challenging to successfully follow a stress management plan. The three general kinds of stress that people may suffer from are acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress.
Acute stress is the most common form of stress that people experience. This type of stress arises from demands and pressures of the recent past as well as anticipated demands and pressures of the near future. A controlled amount of acute stress can generate excitement. Activities like riding a roller coaster or water skiing are fun for many people. But an excessive amount of these activities becomes exhausting. This form of stress is short in duration so it is the easiest to manage.
Episodic acute stress is more severe than regular acute stress. For people with this type of stress, their lives are chaotic and perpetually in crisis. Individuals with this type of stress are often considered short-tempered, irritable, anxious and tense. People with episodic acute stress may suffer from persistent tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, chest pain and even heart disease.
Treating episodic acute stress requires lifestyle changes and other interventions which generally require help from a skilled healthcare professional.
Chronic stress is the most severe type of stress. This inflection creates the most damage in individuals. Chronic stress occurs over a longer time and produces tremendous disruption in people’s lives. This stress grows out of the negative effects of poverty, dysfunctional homes, etc. Chronic stress can eventually kill people through heart attacks, suicide, violence or cancer. This is due to the fact that people’s physical resources are worn down overtime, which allows these harmful health conditions to occur in the body.
Chronic stress is difficult to treat and may require extended medical and behavioral treatment as well as stress management. Seeking help from a mental health professional is essential for this type of stress.
So how can individuals develop techniques to manage the harmful and negative long-term effects of the various types of stress?
Stress Management Tips:
People should measure their level stress and look for signals. In this way, individuals can recognize the dangerous effects of stress and change their behavior. An initial step for individuals is to monitor the behavior that they are engaging in during their day-to-day activities. Are they engaging in unhealthy behaviors in order to cope with stressful situations?
Individuals need to examine whether they are engaging in routine behavior, or is the stress triggered by a specific event or situation? Do individuals engage in these unhealthy choices as a result of feeling rushed and overwhelmed? Instead, people need to find healthy ways to manage their stress.
Briefly, here are eight ways for people to reduce or manage stress:
1. Exercise and eat well.
2. Mediation and deep breathing.
3. Eliminate stress triggers.
4. Slow down and take a break.
5. Take a break.
6. Make time for hobbies.
7. Talk about your problems.
8. Take a vacation.
The above list is only a starting point. No universally effective stress reduction techniques exist. People are unique and have different needs and reactions. A trained and experienced mental health professional can create a successful stress management program.
Who We Are:
For questions about the stigma that can sometimes accompany mental health treatments, contact the staff at Providers For Healthy Living. They have been delivering mental health services since 2011. Their mental health services provide a full range of treatment options for both children and adults. As an experienced mental health provider, they strive to have every patient feel more hopeful after interacting with a member of their staff. Their practice was built on the values of quality, hope and personal responsibility. Visit any of their four convenient office locations in the Columbus metro area.
2/23/2023 06:42:11 am
Rgiht, stress can be overwhelming and negatively impact our lives, but it's important to understand that it's a natural response to certain situations. It's crucial to recognize when stress becomes excessive and begins to affect our health. Identifying major stressors and seeking help from a behavioral or mental health professional is important. The different types of stress include acute, episodic acute, and chronic stress. Acute stress can generate excitement, while episodic acute stress can lead to tension headaches and heart disease. Chronic stress can be life-threatening and requires extended medical and behavioral treatment. Implementing stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, eliminating stress triggers, and taking breaks can help. Seeking help from a professional is recommended for those struggling with stress management.
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