How to Manage Stress and Making Use of It
Work promotions, through good , could lead to stress and managing that stress is important if you are to lead a health life.

What is stress?
The long man dictionary of contemporary English defines stress as “… continuous feelings of worry about your work or personal life that prevent you from relaxing”. Stress is a fact of nature-internal  or external factors affect a person in ways that impact on his or her environment. External factors include the individual’s physical environment, work, relationships with others, home, challenges,difficulties and expectations they are regularly confronted with.

Internal factors determine the body’s ability to respond to, and deal with, external stress-including factors. these include nutritional status, overall healthy and fitness levels, emotional well-being and the amount of sleep and rest one gets. Whatever the cause of stress, the way it is responded to will either make or break the victim.

Signs and symptoms of stress
Extreme stress can manifest in emotional, behavioral or physical symptoms but varies greatly from person to person. Common physical (somatic) symptoms often reported by those experiencing excess stress include sleep disturbance, muscle tension, muscle aches,headache, gastrointestinal disturbance and fatigue.

Emotional and behavioral symptoms including nervousness, anxiety,  change in eating habits including over-eating, loss of enthusiasm and energy, and mood changes that cause irritability and depression.people under stress also have a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse, tobacco smoking, poor exercise and nutritional choice that, unfortunately lead to a vicious cycle of symptoms and unhealthy behavior.

Who is vulnerable to stress?
Stress comes in many forms and affects people of all ages and walks of life. The degree of stress is however dependent upon individual factors such as physical healthy, the quality of interpersonal  relationships, the number of commitments and responsibilities carried, the degree of others’ dependence and expectations; the amount of support received from others and the number of changes or traumatic events recently experienced.

However, people with adequate social support networks report less stress and overall improved mental health in comparison to without adequate social support. Poorly nourished people who get inadequate sleep or are physically unwell also have reduced capacity to handle pressures and stresses of everyday life and may report higher stress levels. Some stressors are associated with a certain age groups or life stages. Children, teenagers or working parents and seniors are examples of groups that often face common stressors related to life transactions.

How to manage stress?
  • Exercise on a regular basis helps to turn down the production of stress hormones and associated neuro-chemicals. Exercise helps to prevent damage that prolonged stress can cause to health. exercise is a potent antidepressant, anxiolytic (combats anxiety) and sleeping aid for many people.
  • Meditation and other relaxation techniques as taught in some religions as form of exercise as combat stress. Elimination of drug use and moderated alcohol consumption are important for successful management of stress. Over-prescription of anxiety drugs can be counterproductive and should only be used under the strict guidance of a physician.
  • If however, stress produces a full-blown psychiatric problem, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), clinical depression of anxiety disorders, then drugs capable of affecting the mind known as psychotropic medications, particularly the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, become useful
  • Chronic or uninterrupted stress can be very harmful. To combat or prevent it, take breaks and decompress. Take a lunch break and avoid talking about work. Take a walk instead of a coffee break. Use weekends to relax, and do not schedule many events. Learn your stress signals. Take regular vacations or even long weekends or mental health days at intervals.
  • Create predictability in your work and home life as much as possible. Structure and routine in your life cannot prevent the unexpected from happening but can provide a comfortable framework from which to respond to the unexpected. Think ahead and try to anticipate the varieties of possibilities, good and bad, that may become realities at work or at home.
  • Generate scenarios response plans: you may find that the 'unexpected' does not always come from the blue. This can help you turn stress into a positive force to work for your growth and change. Stress management counselling is also available for both individuals and groups at health institutions. Make inquiries in your local area to find which institution is available.
How to Manage Stress and Making Use of It

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