what you need to know about stress

what you need to know about stress

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"Stop stress", "anti-stress cure", advertising signs flourish with this type of message. The war on stress, sickness of the century, is it declared? Not so quickly, while too much stress can be the cause of counter-productivity and frustration, in small amounts stress can sometimes become an unexpected source of motivation.

Stress is inherently positive

By definition, stress expresses the body's natural adaptation to a situation of aggression. Stress is therefore the sign of an accommodation of the body to environmental changes. Moreover, the signs do not deceive: increased heart rate, increased blood and muscle pressure, high levels of adrenaline and cortisol.

Today, we are witnessing a certain abuse of interpretation. Indeed, not all ailments can be explained by stress. If the aggression is too intense, the body is overwhelmed by stress and it becomes difficult to manage it. However, in small doses, stress can improve the ability to adapt to aggressive situations.

When stress motivates us

First appointment, job interview, exam or sports competition ... There are many anxiety-provoking situations that can cause a state of stress. In some people, stress is not always crippling, it can even lead to additional motivation.

When stress is experienced as a challenge to be overcome, it can become a powerful stimulus. Top athletes testify to this. They succeed in exploiting stress positively. Without it, their performance is often poorer. In addition, during a professional interview, stress helps some to concentrate better and to be more reactive. And then, would a first date have so much charm without this famous "lump in the stomach"?

Everything is therefore a question of balance. Too much stress can damage our physical and moral health. On the other hand, if it is minor or controllable, it becomes a real asset.

Cultivate good stress

To get out of certain stressful situations, a few tips can help you. Indeed, when you succeed in a challenge, you come out in a very exhilarating post-traumatic state of wisdom. To do this, you have to choose to face situations that you could master, in particular by acquiring the skills necessary to get there. Likewise, human support is essential, family, friends, are important people on whom we can count to motivate ourselves and succeed in our challenge.

Our modern universe is subject to a constant acceleration of our rhythms and our skills, and our organism has more and more difficulty in reacting to the various pressures which besiege our mind as well as our physique. However, too many emotional, cerebral or bodily stimuli end up causing withdrawal reflexes. We call it stress. What are the signs of stress ? How to get rid of it? Answers.

Good or bad, stress is the ability to respond immediately to unexpected stimulation. For example, running to escape danger, or even being moved by a happy but unexpected event. Stress plays a role in regulating emotions.

One in three people suffer from negative stress. It is partly linked to sedentarization, the use of the car and our environment. It is characterized by an inability to cope with too much build-up of tension.

Symptoms of stress

We do not all react to stress the same way. Some are less likely to be overwhelmed and defeated by the ever increasing demands placed on them, especially at work. In addition to this scenario of fighting against time and excellence, there are nuisances such as noise and pollution. The first signs of stress are:

  • irritability
  • headache
  • stomach aches
  • back pain
  • loss of appetite

A real danger looms when other physiological signs are observed, such as an acceleration of the pulse, an increase in blood pressure, sweating, an acceleration of the respiratory rate or even contractions of the abdominal and back muscles. We then witness a tensioning of the body which wants to react.

The consequences of stress

Stress can have more or less serious consequences on the body if it is not treated. A stressed person will generally withdraw into themselves and suffer from mood swings, insomnia, chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, or binge eating. His immune system is also weakened.

Be careful, stress that is not treated can lead to serious pathologies such as depression and heart attack, if the subject is predisposed to it.

Solutions to fight stress

Because of too much tension, too many people end up suffering from stress illnesses. To reconcile your body and your psyche, solutions exist:

  • Changing your surroundings for a few days can create a salutary shock. By breaking with our habits, we give ourselves the opportunity and the chance to unwind the tensions that create stress;
  • Relaxation, muscle relaxation exercises, yoga practice can help to fight stress;
  • Swimming is a very complete sport. Its regular practice improves respiratory capacity, blood circulation, boosts muscle strength and endurance as well as joint flexibility. Muscle contractions in the neck, shoulders and back find relief and the accumulated tensions disappear. The benefit is certain if one practices this sport calmly, for its relaxation aspect (to be avoided however if one suffers from dermatoses or ENT disorders);
  • Slow, gentle, then deep massage (with kneading) reduces tensions, or better, makes them disappear. The massage, by the heat it provides, produces a soothing effect on the nerve endings of the skin;
  • The hot shower directed to stiffened areas or even hot towel wraps combine well-being and relaxation;
  • Sophrology is a method that brings deep relaxation. It appeals to soothing images. The brain and the body memorize these states of well-being and we can easily bring them back to the surface when needed to dispel tension and anxiety.

Ten anti-stress tips

While a certain level of stress is necessary because it is an essential stimulant in our life, conversely, too much stress harms our performance and our capacities. It can even lead to depression over time. Doctissimo gives you 10 tips to learn to manage your stress ...

Initially, stress is a normal and positive physiological reaction, which allows us to adapt to our environment. As long as you can effectively manage your stress! We must act less on the causes of stress (often difficult to control), than on the attitude we adopt in the face of stress. Here are 10 tips that will help you achieve it.

  • Learn to manage your time

Poor time management makes us feel like we are constantly overwhelmed and no longer in control, which is a great stress inducer. This is why it is essential to learn to manage your time on a daily basis.

  • Take a step back

If you are angry and in the heat of the moment, your mind will not be available enough to find adequate solutions to your problems.

Taking a little time and taking a step back is therefore the only attitude that will allow you to find a constructive response to the problem to which you are exposed.

  • Learn to breathe

Breathing is not, as many people think, the most natural thing in the world. In fact, there are two types of breathing: chest breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing. In the first, during the inspiration phase, the rib cage inflates and the shoulders rise. It is the one that most of us practice. It only allows half of the lungs to be filled and therefore reduces our breathing capacity. This type of breathing thus puts the body in a state of permanent "stress". Diaphragmatic breathing, on the contrary, allows the entire lungs to be filled with air. During inspiration, the lower abdomen swells and the diaphragm lowers. It helps reduce muscle tension and control the effects of stress. It is the one that is used spontaneously by all babies. Try diaphragmatic breathing in times of stress: in addition to better oxygenation, this should allow you to regain calm.

  • Learn to relax

It is often helpful to practice some relaxation exercises. Applicable on any occasion when it is well controlled, it considerably reduces the physical effects of stress, in particular by lowering the rhythm of the pulse and breathing, and by reducing the rate of adrenaline.

  • Adopt a positive attitude

You can, if you decide, change the way you look at situations and decipher everyday life. To do this, try positive autosuggestion. You will see that you will then work with pleasure and enthusiasm. In addition, this technique allows you to develop your self-confidence.

  • Get in shape

Physical exercise eliminates many toxins and lowers the level of adrenaline secreted under stress. Thus, a good physical shape allows more to better withstand the effects of stress.

  • Give up the impossible

Nothing is more stressful than feeling a situation slip away, and having no way to act to change it. In order to avoid this, we must anticipate the situations in which we risk ending up in an impasse. Once these situations have been identified, we must try to escape them absolutely or change the course of things from the start. Keeping control also means mourning what is impossible, there is no point in setting unattainable goals!

  • Learn to say no

If you cannot render the service requested of you because you lack the time and resources, then explain it to the person you are talking to. They will understand the situation and you will find an arrangement that will work for both of you. It is better to say no from the start, rather than breaking through on commitments. You will give the image of an organized person who can be trusted. Adopting this attitude will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

  • Talk about your problems with others

Studies have shown that people who don't open up are more stressed than those who open up easily to others. Talking allows you to externalize repressed feelings. In addition, it is always useful to know the opinion of an outside person on his own problems. She may possibly offer you solutions that you hadn't even thought about because you were too emotionally involved. But know how to choose your interlocutors.

  • Change ... gently

You will not be able to go from a stressful daily life to a more relaxing life overnight! Try to integrate our tips little by little: they will become habits in a very short time!

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