Stress is your body’s response to various situations and can affect your mental health, physical well-being and behaviour. It’s difficult to pinpoint what causes stress as different causes trigger stress for different people.
Your body produces chemicals and hormones when it responds to stress. This causes your heart rate to increase, your brain to work faster and a sudden burst of adrenaline, which is natural, considering our ancient ancestors had to protect themselves from scary predators back in the day. Stress can be good, but it can also have harmful effects, which is why it’s important to learn how to manage stress effectively.
Anxiety goes hand-in-hand with stress. It is the feeling of worry and fear – common reactions to stress. It often occurs when people aren’t able to pinpoint their big stressors. Feeling nervous before an exam or interview, or feeling worried about financial issues are examples of everyday stress and anxiety – and it’s not bad if it motivates you to get things done! However, it must never interfere with your happiness and cause irrational and constant worrying.
What are the symptoms of stress and anxiety?
Physical and psychological symptoms include:
- Muscle tension
- Uneven breathing
- Extremely fast heart rate
- Change in appetite
- Inability to concentrate
Stress can also cause negative long-term effects, including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, obesity and heart disease.
How can I manage stress?
- Keep active – physical activity boosts your brain’s endorphins and leads to better sleep. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, as long as you keep active.
- Get enough sleep – a good night’s sleep will ensure your brain is fresh and recharged, which has a positive effect on your mood and general wellbeing. Unfortunately, stress may cause you to have trouble sleeping – refer to point 1: exercise may help reduce insomnia!
- Spend time with people you love – rather than surrounding yourself with people who make you feel unhappy or worried, spend time with people who give you a sense of security and make your happy. As the age-old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.
- Listen to music – listening to music you like can boost your mood, in fact, research suggests it can ease stress levels!
- Meditate – sometimes we need to take a break from thinking too much and clear our minds to achieve relief from stress and anxiety. Taking a few minutes every day to perform meditation and mindfulness activities can help reduce stress levels.
- Try adult colouring – taking a break from stress and doing something that’s easy and brainless may be just what you need to help you relax. Buy a colouring book (there are ones especially for adults) and colour away.
- Speak to someone – talking to someone might sound like the simplest solution but it can be very effective. It can help you clarify things that you are worried about and enable you to find solutions to your problems.
Do I need help?
If you are unable to control your worries and stress and anxiety are impacting your life negatively, you may need to seek help from a professional that can help you manage your stress more effectively.
What triggers stress and anxiety? Many people find starting a new job, school or university, moving to a new home, death or sickness of a close family member or friend, getting married and having a baby can cause stress and anxiety. Alcohol and various medicines, such as diet pills and thyroid medications can worsen the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Finances, however, are one of the main causes of stress. If you are stressed out about debt, please contact Debt Rescue today. We can help you manage your debt in a practical to ease your worries.