All You Need To Know About Stress: What Are Its Types And Symptoms

Stress is subjective. It's not measurable. only the person experiencing it can determine.

-Dr Manisha Singhal, Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist, Metro Hospitals and Apollo Hospitals

Without Appreciating The Darkness We Can’t See The Stars At Night!

Stress is a feeling of emotional strain and pressure. It’s a type of psychological or emotional pain but a normal human reaction when we experience challenges.

Stress is subjective. It’s not measurable. only the person experiencing it can determine.

Types Of Stress

Eustress {Positive Stress}- Stress doesn’t mean only distress, there’s positive stress too which is responsible for waking us up time for work thus it is called Eustress. Eustress motivates us to run that extra mile in a marathon or the stress which motivates us to get a promotion.

Example: Marriage, New House, Promotion, New Car, Having Kids, Etc.

Distress {Negative Stress}- Another name of negative stress which we all know and would have experienced at some point of time in life so far.

Causes Of Stress

  • Being unhappy at work due to long working hours, harassment, low salary but more work
  • Loss of job
  • Death of a loved one
  • Some chronic disease/accident/injury
  • Traumatic event such as theft/rape /violence/natural disaster
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Not able to manage the need of kids
  • Increase in financial obligation
  • Emotional issues like anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem
  • Taking care of the elderly sick family member

Sometimes Stress Comes From Inside Rather Than Outside!

Symptoms Of Stress

  • Sweaty hands
  • Dry mouth
  • Cold hands & feet
  • Headache & Bodyache
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fluctuating appetite
  • GI upset
  • Tachycardia/Bradycardia
  • Crying spells/fear/worry
  • Mood swings/Serious appearance/Over-reactions
  • Memory gets affected
  • Anger/irritation/Frustration
  • Depression/Anxiety/Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions
  • Give Your Stress Wings & Let It Fly Away!

Role Of Hormones While in Stress

  1. Serotonin

It boosts mood and makes us more agreeable. Lack of it may cause more irritability & depression. When we think to be happy or exercise at moderate intensity, have coffee, talk about happy memories then it increases serotonin levels.

  1. Dopamine

It is called a Pleasure Hormone and it stimulates when we strive towards a goal .

  1. Adrenalin

Fight or Flight Hormone it is called.

Imagine you are driving a car on a highway and trying to change the lane but suddenly from your blind spot comes a car at high speed. You return to your original lane. But your heart is pounding, the muscles are tense, you are breathing faster, you may start sweating.

That’s Adrenalin!

Along with the increase in heart rate, Adrenalin gives you a surge of energy which you may need to run away from a situation.

  1. Cortisol

It’s a steroid hormone commonly known as stress hormone produced by adrenal glands .

Part of brain Amygdala has to recognise the threat   –>   it sends the message to hypothalamus which releases Corticotropin Releasing Hormone ( CRH )  –>  Which tells Pituitary glands to release Adrenocorticotropic Hormone   –>  which tells Adrenal glands to produce Cortisol.

  1. Oxytocin

This is called the Cuddle Hormone. it is released when you hug someone. It even makes you help & supports the people you care about.

Life is 10% of what happens to us & 90% of how we react to it!

Ways To Assuage Stress –

  • Accept the things you can not change
  • 4A Strategy – Avoid
  • Alter
  • Adapt
  • Accept
  • Learn to say ‘NO’
  • Stay connected with people who keep you calm & happy and provide emotional support .
  • Shorten your exposure to stress
  • Try to reduce the intensity of stress
  • Take a break, Have me-time
  • Manage your time well
  • Keep a stress diary
  • Do practice some yoga/exercise everyday / deep breathing.
  • Set realistic goals
  • Reduce the triggers of stress. know them.
  • Self Talk / Affirmations.
  • Get organized, declutter your house/office / workplace as well as your device.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Alcohol is a depressant when taken in a large quantity but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Alcohol is not helpful in any way.
  • Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique.
  • Music works in some cases, songs with 60-80 beats/minute but with no lyrics.
  • Eat well
  • Take out some time for hobbies
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