What is stress Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. In fact, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. When you experience changes or challenges (stressors), your body produces physical and mental responses. That’s stress. Stress responses help your body adjust to new situations. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. For example, if you have an important test coming up, a stress response might help your bodywork harder and stay awake longer. But stress becomes a problem when stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation. Stages of stress 1. Alarm The first stage of stress is your body's immediate reaction. Anything can trigger the response, and each person has different levels of tolerance and sensitivity. You may notice an increased heart rate, sweating, nervous fidgeting, or feeling tense, anxious, worried, or scared as your body reacts to the cause of your stress. The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and biological changes occur to make you poised to take action. This reaction is part of our innate tendency towards a "fight or flight" response, which results in a burst of adrenaline through our system. 2. Resistance The second stage of the stress response is when our bodies attempt to return to a normal balance, counteracting the "alarm" response in the first stage. Generally, when you enter into this stage you'll begin to feel calmer. The parasympathetic nervous system begins to bring down the heart rate, your body's physiological functions return to normal, and you can better focus on attending to the source of the stress. In this phase, however, you may think you can handle more stress, or get the impression the threat has passed because the sense of urgency is reduced. But if the cause persists, the body can suffer. Fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritability, poor concentration, chronic anxiety, and other issues can develop because the body is essentially still on alert without the alarm bells ringing. 3. Exhaustion The final stress stage is exhaustion, which results from your body trying to combat stress for an extended period. Typically, in this stage you find yourself feeling rundown and with far less energy than normal. You may fall ill easier as your immune system can also weaken due to stress. This stage is a signal that your stress is severe. Long-term psychological changes can occur as well, causing you to become depressed, possibly sleep deprived, or chronically anxious. Studies have shown life events such as financial troubles, job loss, medical issues, and breakdowns in relationships may lead to chronic or long-term stress. Chronic stress may increase chances of diabetes, heart disease, ulcers, viral infections, or depression. Stress Management Tips for Coping If you're experiencing bouts of stress and find it's affecting your daily activities, there area few things you can do to find relief. • Exercise.
• Relax Your Muscles. • Deep Breathing. • Eat Well. • Slow Down. • Take a Break. • Make Time for Hobbies. • Talk About Your Problems. •