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Control stressStress is a natural process of the human body, which generates an automatic response to external conditions that are threatening or challenging, which require a mobilization of resources physical, mental and behavioural to tackle them, and that they sometimes disturb the emotional balance of the person.
The environment, which is constantly changing, forcing individuals to adapt; Therefore, certain amount of stress is necessary so the body properly responds to the challenges and changes of daily life. It is what is known as positive stress Eustress.
It is a physiological and psychological response of a person who tries to adapt to pressures to which are subjected, originated by the survival instinct of the human being, which has involved many organs and functions of the body, including the brain and the heart, muscles, blood flow, digestion...
While at first the stress response is required and adaptive, when it continues or intensifies over time, health, academic or professional performance and, even, partner of the individual or personal relationships can be affected.
The most characteristic of stress signals are:
• Emotions: anxiety, fear, irritability, confusion.
• Thoughts: difficulty concentrating, repetitive thoughts, forgetfulness, excessive self-criticism and concern for the future...
• Behavior: difficulties in speech, nervous laughter, abrupt treatment in social relations, crying, tighten the jaws, increased consumption of tobacco, alcohol...
• Physical changes: contracted muscles, headache, back or neck, stomach upset, fatigue, infections, palpitations and troubled breathing...
Types of stressThere are different types of stress, which are classified according to the duration:
Acute stressIt is stimulating and exciting, but very tiring. Not he endures over time. Example: a series of interviews of work in a day. It can appear at any time in the life of any individual.
Episodic acute stressIt is when you have acute stress frequently. The people affected reacts uncontrolled, very emotional way, and is often irritable, and feel unable to organize his life.
Chronic stressIn a constant state of alarm.
Causes of stressAny event can give rise to an emotional response and generate stress, for example, the birth of a child, marriage, death of a family member or loss of employment. It is not necessarily very intense events, it is enough to accumulate during long periods of time; and adversely affects it the way in which the person interprets them or confronts them.
It is important to highlight that certain situations that cause stress in a person may be insignificant to another. Any changes can generate tension, but the really significant is the way to deal with that change, and each person has a tolerance of different problems and different stress threshold .
Causes of stress or risk factors
Physical stressors• Exposure to chemical products.
• Poor posture.
• Extreme temperatures.
• Lack of sleep.
Emotional and mental factors• Removals and works at home.
• Relationship issues.
• Death or serious illness of a loved one.
• Challenges at work.
• Work or family discussions.
• Traffic jams.
• Lack of time to perform tasks and to dedicate to leisure.
Phases of stressWhen the Agency is faced with dangerous situations, prepares to confront or flee, resulting in a number of biological changes of regional origin.
Three stages of stress are distinguished in this process:
Phase of alarm or flight• The body is prepared to produce the maximum power, with the consequent chemical changes.
• Brain, then sends signals that trigger the secretion of hormones, which cause different reactions in the body, such as muscular tension, sharpening of the senses, increase in the frequency and intensity of the elevation of the blood flow, heart rate, increase of the level of insulin so the body metabolizes more energy through a chain reaction...
Adaptation phase• Also called resistance, which is maintained when the alert situation, without any relaxation.
• The agency tries to return to its normal state, and it becomes to produce a new physiological response, keeping hormones in situation of permanent alert.
Exhaustion phase• Happens when stress becomes chronic, and is maintained for a period of time which varies according to each individual.
• This phase causes weakness, it lies ill, displayed a sense of anguish and desire of escape.
In appropriate conditions, and in the short term, man-made changes are beneficial, for example during a fire, or an animal attack. Some people come to develop, in dangerous situations, skills that could not have imagined. Stress symptoms subside when the episode concludes.
Symptoms and diagnosis of stressThe most common symptoms of stress are:
• Emotions: depression or anxiety, irritability, fear, nervousness, confusion, mood fluctuations, etc.
• Thoughts: over fear of failure, excessive self-criticism, forgetfulness, difficulty to concentrate and make decisions, repetitive thoughts...
• Behavior: nervous laughter, rough treatment of others, incremetno of the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, increased or decreased appetite, crying, grinding the teeth or jaws, press etc.
• Physical changes: muscular tension, cold or sweaty hands, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, problems of back or neck, indigestion, troubled breathing, disturbances in sleep, rash, sexual dysfunction, etc.
Diagnosis of stress levelsThere are a few parameters that determine the level of stress that a person is:
• Cognitive level: the person presents insecurity and has trouble concentrating; You can't find a solution to their problems for children who are, and have the feeling of having lost the memory.
• Physiological level: stress can occur through physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, fatigue, skin diseases. The individual feels bad, it goes to the doctor, but their results are normal.
• Engine level: the person tends to perform actions not usual as cry, binge eating, smoking more than usual, appear nervous tics, etc. In short, you feel desire to flee to avoid the stressful situation.
Stress preventionThere are cases in which it is inevitable to suffer stress, but in spite of this, the challenge is to deal with this situation in the best possible way. Here are some strategies for preventing stress:
The anti-stress dietIt must avoid overloading the body with digestion. It is advisable to follow a healthy balanced diet, not abusing alcohol or exciting substances such as caffeine, and take advantage of the food as a rest, which serve to promote social and family relationships.
RestSufficient sleep. Enjoy the holidays and weekends as leisure time, and disconnect the labour problems when you finish the workday.
Physical exercisePhysical exercise help to relax and interact with friends or family. It serves to release tension and remove negative thoughts.
OrganizationIt is important to learn how to organize, distribute the time to rest, and set priorities where it is not possible to complete all the tasks.
Problem solving and decision makingDecisions trying to follow a logical process, not run away from the problems, and facing them to decide the best alternative in each case.
Interpretation of situations and problemsSometimes tend to exaggerate the negative consequences of an event or situation, reaching catastrophic analysis, and suffer for problems that don't exist, and events that have not happened yet.
You have to act naturally and cope with situations, without worrying for what may think others.
Attributions and self-esteemIt is good to love and treat you well. If one thing has been made well, congratulate yourself for this, and if it has failed, recognize that in this case is he has not acted correctly and try to rectify the mistakes, without game aside or negative thoughts about self. It strengthens your self-esteem.
Relations with othersReinforce the positive behavior with the people in the environment and try to correct the negative.
How to cope with stressThere are no formulas to cure stress, but what we can do is reduce the overload situations. To this end, activities must be programmed to prevent build up and become disasters. Here's how to do it to get to deal with stress:
• Delegated responsibilities: learn how to say 'no' to that which can not be met.
• Sets priorities, and not worry about things that cannot be controlled, such as for example climate.
• Attempts to see the changes as something positive and not as a threat. Seek help from friends or family and, when necessary, refer to professionals.
• Lean on your loved ones. Ask for help if you think you need it, and not pretend that you are OK, because the deception may cause you more anxiety still.
• Learns to relax.A form of relaxation: lie flat on a surface by placing one hand on your stomach, and the other in the chest. Breathing air at the same time that the stomach swells, and while exhaling it stomach down.
• Practice physical exercise everyday in moderation.
• Sleep enough. If you do not rest well without reason, as soon as possible consult a specialist.
• You do not believe, nor to relax or sleep.