Stress is the reaction to emotional and physical strain. When the external environmental inputs exceed the body’s capacity to handle them, then the feeling of being overloaded is called stress. Stress can be physical as well as psychological. A small amount of stress is fine as it keeps us motivated to give our best. However when stress becomes a way of life, then we have a major problem at hand.
There are several factors that can act as a stressor. Examples of stressors are an excessive work-load, meeting deadlines with short notice, long working hours, odd working hours, problems with personal relationships etc.
The effects of stress are always harmful. Long-term stress can lead to grave complications. Stress can lead to anxiety, aches and pains, skin and gastrointestinal disorder, irritability, insomnia and many more. Stress is the body’s normal reaction to external demands, be it psychological or physical. The body prepares itself to best handle a demanding situation.
As a result it over-utilises its resources and creates tension all the time. Returning home after the day’s work and becoming stuck in traffic jam can cause irritation, and a feeling of frustration builds up and you might feel suffocated at times. So, you are stressed out.
The feeling of constant worry and apprehension about something bad going to happen is anxiety. Anxiety is a by-product of stress. In fact both anxiety and stress are co-related. In most of the cases, stress leads to anxiety although sometimes anxiety can also lead to stress.
The common symptoms of anxiety are palpitations, sweating, shakes and tremors, shallow breathing, hot flashes or chills, racing thoughts and finally panic. Anxiety is a result of psychological stress. When we are under continuous psychological stress for a very long period of time, then we develop chronic anxiety.
There are several complications of anxiety which can affect the quality of our lives. Our social and personal life might suffer due to anxiety and stress. The extreme form of anxiety is panic where the psychological stress becomes too much for the body to handle and it switches on its “Fight or Flight” response system and the person starts to panic for no rational reason.
The other form of anxiety is GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) where a person remains anxious even without the presence of almost any psychological stressor. In case of GAD, too high expectations and thoughts about the future is the main reason.
Thus we know that stress or anxiety in any way is not good for us. The good news is that we can get victory over stress and anxiety by making certain changes in lifestyle, diet, work type and timings, outlook towards life and future.