Stress itself is a psychic experience, but many of its effects are physical.
This is because the body of a stressed person is in a constant state of alarm, says Terveyskylä.
The Health Library defines stress as a situation in which a person is faced with so many challenges and demands that the resources available for adaptation are tight or exceeded.
Many researchers believe that an individual can be stressed by almost any change - positive or negative.
The reaction depends a lot on a person’s individual resistance and tolerance, especially perspectives and attitudes.
Read more: Such a stressed person should take a vacation - recognize a worrying sign
Short-term stress makes you do your best
Short-term stress usually doesn’t cause problems - it makes people do their best.
Prolonged stress, on the other hand, can be dangerous in many ways.
Harmful stress is often associated with mental symptoms in particular, the most typical of which are:
Psychologist and psychotherapist Tarja Nummelin reminds in her recent book Manage Stress - Emotional Skills Out of Pressure (Atena) that symptoms can also be physical.
- Prolonged stress can put a strain on the body in many ways and manifest as different physical and psychosomatic symptoms depending on what is the weak point of the body, Nummelin writes.
- If it is a neurotransmitter system in our brain, chronic stress is likely to present as symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Physical symptoms may include, for example, high blood pressure, various aches, digestive problems, or dizziness.
Nummelin lists various symptoms in the body that can be stressful:
Physical symptoms of stress
Increased heart rate
Feeling short of breath or choking
Chest pain, uncomfortable feeling in the chest
Feeling of a lump in the throat
Fatigue and weakness
High blood pressure, dizziness
Muscle tension, neck-shoulder tension
Muscle cramps or cramps
Headache, migraine, tightness in the head
Back pain, neck and shoulder pain
Cold and damp hands and / or feet
Changes in appetite, overeating, weight loss
Indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation
Low blood sugar
Recurrent flu or inflammation
Hot flashes or chills
Dizziness, feeling unsteady, feeling faint
Weakness in the legs
Numbness, pinching in hands and feet
Stress cannot be eliminated, but it can be learned to manage
The health village reminds us that stress can never be completely removed from life - and it is not even necessary.
However, it is good to identify the symptoms of stress in order to respond to a prolonged load condition.
Nummelin’s message is that anyone can learn to manage stress.
The first step is to identify stress.
- If we do not know that we are stressed, we will try as before and we will not rest or slow down.
We may notice signs of fatigue in ourselves, but we may find it difficult to listen to and respect them.
If you haven’t felt good for months or even years, normal is no longer easy to identify - and you may not be able to miss it.
- The earlier we notice the first signs of stress in our body, such as fatigue, headache, stomach upset or muscle tension, the faster we are able to restore balance.
Sources: Tarja Nummelin: Manage stress - Get out of pressure with emotional skills, Atena (2020), Health Library, Terveyskylä.
How to relieve stress?
Consider and, if necessary, fine-tune your own means of recovery.
This makes sense even in a peaceful life situation.
Meaningful leisure and well-functioning relationships are known to support stress management and elevate mood.
For example, hobbies with other people, experiencing cultural experiences and exercising stimulate the mind and memory.
Well-proven practical ways to relieve stress also include walking in nature, a varied diet, adequate sleep and rest, relaxation, flexible thinking, self-indulgence, body care, and mindfulness exercises.
Excessive worrying or resorting to drugs, on the other hand, are not very effective means of managing stress.
Source: Health Village