Stress is a psychophysical response given by the body and the mind when we are going through “excessive” situations: a stressing moment for a person might not be perceived the same way by another and the same episode could seem more or less stressful depending on different moments in life.
However, there are a few factors that are commonly stressful for the majority of people. Many episodes of a person’s life can create stress, both pleasant ones like a wedding, a childbirth or a new job and unpleasant ones, for example the loss of a loved one, a divorce or retirement.
In addition to these moments, other physical factors can create stress like intense cold or heat, alcohol abuse, smoking too much and serious movement restrictions.
Environmental factors like not having a home, noisy places and high pollution can play a role too.
It has to be reminded that the existence of organic diseases and modifications of different metabolism (hepatic, thyroid and endocrine system), sometimes unknown by the patient, can also lead to a stress condition.
Based on the length of the stressing moment, it is possible to distinguish two categories of stress: if the episode has a limited length in time , we talk about “acute stress” and if it lasts overtime it’s known as chronic stress. We often say that we are “stressed”, but not all symptoms are easy to spot and we can underestimate the problem. Even if it is not easy to give an exhaustive list of all the symptoms of stress, it can be useful to identify the most frequent ones.
We can identify 4 types of stress:
physical symptoms: headache, back pain, indigestion, shoulder and neck tension, stomach ache, palpitations, sweaty hands, agitation, sleep problems, fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite or sexual problems.
Behavioural symptoms: teeth grinding, compulsive eating, more frequent alcohol consumption, critical attitude towards others, aggressive behavior, difficulty in accomplishing tasks, anger:
Emotional symptoms: tension, anger, irritation, anxiety, frequent crying, unhappiness, feeling powerless, predisposition to getting irritated and feeling upset.
Cognitive symptoms: difficulty in thinking clearly, problems in taking decisions, distraction, constant worrying, loss of sense of humor or lack of creativity.
- Establish a sufficient number of hours to rest
- Exercise daily
- Try as much as possible to spend time outside
- Learn how to plan your day in order to avoid potential stressful events
- Learn to say know and stay away from toxic people
- Dedicate time to friends and do the activities you like