How to Handle Stress

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How to handle stress effectively. Let’s begin

Are you living in the world of stress?

Stress occurs when we feel we cannot handle a situation. There’s no shame to be stressed as we are likely to experience stress at some time in our lives.
In the United Kingdom more than half a million people working of forty hours per week are experiencing work-related stress that makes them ill.
The birth of a child has a major impact on every family because it changes their daily routine which cause potential to be stressful. Babies are always totally dependent on their family especially a child with disabilities which require more even more attention and care. In our country it is estimated that in each health authority there are an average of 300 families with one or more disabled children.

How to manage stress ?

Peoples talk a lot about stress, but what does it actually mean?

  • Stress is something what is very much personal to us and we experience it in a different ways
  • Stress is essentially when a situation, pressure or change exceeds our coping abilities.

Take a rollercoaster ride for example. You might have two people that go on a rollercoaster together, one person may take a genuine enjoyment out of the experience. Other people might take a genuine sense of fear and anxiety. The rollercoaster itself doesn’t change but our perceptions of it will differ. The same can be said for other stressful situations. Ultimately depends upon our perception of that situation that determines whether or not you. See it as a Stressor. Of course, the rollercoaster example is an example of short-term stress, which is isolation may not cause any harm whatsoever. It’s only when stress accumulates beyond your coping abilities and without adequate recovery.

The Stress can become a problem

Stress is likely to occur after an accumulation of life changing events. Those events can be both positive and negative, it might include a business realignment, a promotion at work, or even something enjoyable such as a holiday or a Christmas break. What matters is that there is a change in your normal routine. When the number of changes to your life happen within a short space of time, that’s when it can have an impact on your resilience and your stress. We all know stress can make us feel under pressure, agitated and sometimes overwhelmed.
The Question is how does stress affect our body and our mind and what can we do about it?

Within the body you have the central nervous systems, which is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. Within the central nervous system you might have the autonomic nervous system, which is regulating things that are outside of your control. Things like blinking, breathing, and your heart beat. Within the autonomic nervous system you have two particular branches. One is the sympathetic nervous system, that’s known as the fight or flight system. The other is the parasympathetic nervous system, that us the rest digest system and although they interact with each other they both have different roles. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for increasing the heart rate, increasing blood pressure and increasing blood sugar to help you perform with stress hits. The rest and digest system is reasonable for suppressing heart rate and bringing you back to what’s know as home statics. DHEA is an immune system boosting hormone. Which means it helps stave off the development of lifestyle related diseases. The problem here is that DHEA and cortisol and release from the same area of the body, The adrenal gland. This means that when someone is exposed to chronic stress, without the ability to recover and adapt to that stress the DHEA is not being released. This means the risk of disease is increased. Execs cortisol and chronic stress can increase the risk of strokes and heart from happening. The reason being when cortisol is released it creates an inflammatory response within the arterial lining. That inflammation could then lead to an increased cholesterol. If that cholesterol becomes unstable and breaks off and travel down to the smaller arteries of the heart or of the brain, that could result in the stroke or the heart attack. Stress can also have an affect on the way that your brain functions. Normally when you experience a situation or a stimulus it goes via the thalamus and then into the cerebral cortex.
The outer part of the brain is responsible for high level thinking, such as strategy, executive decision making and creativity. The problem is when we’re under stress that whole system is bypassed and is goes via the amygdala. The amygdala is very closely linked to your fight or flight response. Therefore when you are under stress, the amygdala will result in your fight or flight response, engaging more rapidly and therefore you don’t have the outer human thinking that you would normally have. As a result you might act in a way that you would later regret. Now that we know a bit more about stress, the question is what can we do to improve our resilience to improve our ability to deal with pressure?

When it comes to effective stress management

It’s important to focus on the factor that are within your perceived control. One factor that us particularly useful to improve is sleep quality. Sleep deprivation can lead to increase activation of the amygdala, which is of course responsible for the increase in the fight or flight reaction. By improving your sleep quality you help to reduce the activation of the amygdala which of course is linked to the fight or flight response. Furthermore an improved sleep architecture can help to improve the regulation of cortisol. Low to moderate exercise can be very useful for stress management. Exercises that places a focus on muscle tension and deep breathing such a yoga for example are very good because they drive up the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. Unlike highest intensity exercise, which drives up the activations of the fight or flight system. Therefore going for a light to brisk walk before bedtime can be a more effective stress relief than going for high intensity run. Furthermore, performing regular exercise can be a good distraction from the stresses in your life.

There are lifestyle factors to consider too.

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are often used as the de-stress technique. However, they actually drive up the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and in doing so exacerbate stress more than help it. Therefore the casual cup of tea or the occasional glass of wine to help de-stress after a long day might not be as effective as we once thought. Taking these factors onboard and modifying your behavior will help you improve your ability to prepare for, react to and recover from stresses in your life, ultimately improving your resilience

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