Ever felt unable to deal with what life throws at you? Overwhelmed and exhausted tackling life’s problems? Yes? Then that’s what stress looks like!
Considering the interesting times we live in, and the intense dynamics of contemporary living, the majority of us feel stressed out at some point in life. Stress is our body’s physical, emotional or mental response which occurs when we are presented with a real or perceived challenge or threat. Stress comes up when you feel like the demands of a situation or event – positive or negative, are too much to manage and disrupt your regular routine. It can come up with everyday situations, such as managing the demands at work or school, managing relationships, changing home or workplace, getting married, exams or appraisals, etc. While stress isn’t always bad, too much stress can affect one’s well-being.
Here are some signs that may indicate you are experiencing stress:
- Physiological or bodily changes: Tense muscles, Rapid breathing and heart rate, Headaches, Difficulty getting sound sleep, Fatigue.
- Behavioural changes: social withdrawal, avoiding situations that seem stressful, fidgeting or feeling restless, smoking or drinking more than usual.
- Emotional changes: Feeling worried or confused, feeling angry or irritable, feeling overwhelmed or helpless.
- Changes in thought: Struggling to concentrate, remember or make decisions; losing self-confidence; having a negative attitude towards self and life
Positive stress can act as a catalyst for personal development and creative problem solving. It can motivate an individual to achieve higher goals and complete a task before a deadline. However intense and prolonged stress negatively impacts individuals by impairing their daily living activities. It can be detrimental to an individual’s physical and mental health, by lowering immunity and increasing risk for isolation, anxiety or depression.
For leading a healthy life and maintaining well being, it is essential to combat stress by using positive and adaptive coping methods. Well-being is not merely the absence of negative emotions but involves a good quality of life based on positive emotions and overall life satisfaction. It is the pursuit for happiness. There may be times when we can’t change the external circumstances. In order to be happy and stress free at such times, we need to work on managing our emotions and seek out support from friends and family or even professionals. Coping with stress is the key to well being – both internal and external. Live happy, Live long!
By Ms. Asmita Dalvi