too much stressA little bit of stress can be a positive. Imagine the feeling of successfully completing a major project after hard work and a few stressful moments. You’d say it was all probably worth it in the end. But for those who experience too much stress, or do not manage it well, quality of life can begin to plummet.  Usually when someone thinks about health issues, conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, headaches, and cancer come to mind. Many people don’t think about stress as a deadly health condition. But did you know that many of these chronic conditions are caused by or are exacerbated by stress? 

Symptoms

Stress is not always visible, and there is no one cure or treatment that fixes it.  Sometimes people are stressed and do not even realize it. Others have symptoms and don’t realize that they are stress-related.  Some symptoms and long term effects may include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia.
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack and stoke

Coping and Prevention Techniques

There are three types of stress: acute, episodic and chronic. And the severity and symptoms vary from person to person. Some people easily manage through without impact to their daily lives. Others have a hard time coping.  Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce and relieve stress, which include: 

  • Regular exercise
  • Accepting that you can’t control or change everything
  • Surrounding yourself with supportive people 
  • Doing things that you enjoy and make you happy
  • Practicing meditation or yoga to help you relax
  • Getting a massage or go to a spa
  • Talking with your doctor and get treatment if needed

For more tips on stress-management, read our blogs, 4 Steps to Better Manage Stress and 3 Tips for Seeking Mental Health Help.