Find out what stress is, how to recognise it and different ways to reduce stress.
It can be tricky to recognise the signs of stress until someone points them out. Find out what stress is, how to recognise it and a number of different ways to manage and reduce stress.
What is stress?
Stress is a feeling that's created when you react to certain events. It's the body's way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.
Stress becomes a problem when you become over-stressed and it starts to affect how you cope with day to day stuff.
How does stress affect the body?
The human body responds to events which provoke stress (stressors) by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and metabolism. These physical changes prepare you to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. Working properly, the body's stress response improves your ability to perform well under pressure.
What causes over-stress?
Stress affects everybody in a different way. What causes one person to become over-stressed may not have the same affect on someone else.
- Many things may cause people to become over-stressed, including:
- problems at work
- sexual, physical or emotional abuse
- new responsibilities
- moving to a new place
- a traumatic event - such as the death of a loved one
- new or chronic illness or disability
- peer pressure, being bullied
- unrealistic expectations placed on you by yourself, friends, family or culture
Click NEXT to find out what can happen if you are over-stressed
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