What is stress? At some point we all experience what we ourselves call stress, each persons concept and experience of stress differs.  We could say “I am stressed” or “That stresses me”.

This could be situations or places that make us feel stressed hence “That stresses me” or it could be the feeling we experience in those situations “I am stressed”.

There is no actual medical definition of stress and medical health care professionals disagree on what stress is, some say it is the cause of the feelings others say it is the feelings, this can lead to difficulties identifying what it is that is either causing your stress or what your stress is.  Regardless of the description or your definition there are many ways to help manage your stress.

You can manage the external triggers, the situations and places that trigger your emotions this will lead to fewer instances of the points that trigger the emotional feeling that causes you to have that feeling of stress.

Develop your emotional strength and resilience this will enable you to cope better with the emotion and feelings of stress and to lessen the stress.

Is stress a mental health issue?

Being under pressure is a daily part of life be it at work or home, in general being under pressure can lead us to take action, feel more energetic and to achieve goals and get results.

The problem arises when we become overwhelmed by the day-to-day pressures that mount up and can lead to mental health issues such as Anxiety and Depression.

Stressful events are a fact of life. There are times you will not be able to change your current situation. Even during these times you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you.

You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations.

Stress management strategies include:

Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, Practicing relaxation techniques or learning to meditate, Fostering healthy friendships, Having a sense of humor, Seeking professional help when needed.

Stress and the physical feeling.

The first signs that you are feeling stressed may well be physical symptoms such as headaches, tiredness and an upset stomach.  This could be to the fact that when we put ourselves under excess pressures our bodies release more of the hormones Adrenalin and Cortisol, these trigger the bodies automatic response to threat what is commonly called the fight or flight syndrome.  If these hormones are being triggered on a regular occurrence then they can lead to feeling unwell.

Recent research has also linked elevated cortisol levels to weight gain as well.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

Anxiety, Depression, Digestive problems, Heart disease, Sleep problems, Weight gain, Memory and concentration impairment

That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.


Stress reduction ideas


Laughing, joking, giggles we all feel better when we laugh this is one of the quickest ways to lower stress levels. Laughing with friends releases feel-good brain chemicals, recent research shows it also relieves pain.

Walk and exercise.

Change your environment actually leave the office go for a walk, a quick brisk walk breathing in the fresh air rather than the stale office air.  Being outdoors with new things stimulates the senses be it trees and birds or even traffic fumes, though the former is preferable.  You can extend the exercise by going to a park and jogging a little.  Or do a few star-jumps – something energetic to get your body moving and relaxing.  Or stroke a dog, or pick up some litter, or kick a kid’s football.

Stay hydrated.

Get a large glass or a bottle of water.

Here’s why.

Most of us fail to drink enough water – that’s water – not tea, coffee, coke, ‘sports’ drinks, Red Bull or fruit juice.  All of your organs, including your brain, are strongly dependent on water to function properly. It’s how we are built.  If you starve your body of water you will function below your best – and you will get stressed. Physically and mentally.




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