Stress and depression are not always bad. In small doses, it can assist you to carry out under pressure and inspire you to do your best. However, when you are running continuously in urgent situation mode, your mind and body pay the cost. If you frequently find yourself overwhelmed and frazzled, it is time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance.
Stress is your body’s way of replying to any kind of threat or demand. When you sense danger whether it is imagined or real the defenses of the body kick into high gear in a quick, mechanical process referred to as the fight-or-flight response or the stress response. The stress response when work properly helps you stay alert, energetic, and focused. Stress can also assist you to rise to meet challenges. However, too much stress can also hurt your health.
Effects of chronic stress
If you get stressed often, your body may survive in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can result in serious health issues. Chronic stress disturbs almost every system in your body. It can depress your immune system, distress your reproductive and digestive systems, increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, and accelerate the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Common health problems that are caused by stress are mentioned below:
- Depression and anxiety
- The pain of any type
- Reproductive problems
- Sleep disorders
- Digestive problems
- Autoimmune issues
- Skin conditions, for instance, eczema
- Heart ailment
- Thinking and memory issues
- Weight issues
Common signs of stress
The riskiest thing about stress is how easily it can move stealthily on you. You get accustomed to it. It starts to feel recognizable, even usual. You may not see how much it is affecting you, whilst it takes a serious toll. That is why it is essential to be conscious of the common caution signs of stress. Some of the common cognitive symptoms include:
- Inability to focus
- Memory issues
- Poor decision
- Anxious or racing opinion
- Seeing only the pessimistic
- Continuous disturbing
Common emotional symptoms:
- Anxiety or general sadness
- Depression and agitation
- Anger, irritability, or moodiness
- Feeling inundated
- Being alone and seclusion
- Other emotional or mental health issues
- Sleeping too much or too less
- Consuming more or less food
- Withdrawing from others
- Using drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes to relax
- Neglecting or procrastinating responsibilities
- Nervous habits such as pacing, nail-biting
- Loss of sex drive
- Aches and pains
- Nausea, dizziness
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Frequent colds or flu
- Chest pain, rapid heart rate
Causes of stress and depression
The pressures and situations that cause stress are referred to as stressors. Individuals typically think of stressors as being negative, for instance, an unsteady connection or an exhausting work agenda. But, anything that puts high demands on you can be demanding. This comprises positive events, for instance, buying a house, getting married, receiving a promotion or going to college.
However, it is important to note that not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated or internal, when you are anxious extremely about something that might or might not happen or have illogical, negative thoughts about life.
Common external causes of stress include:
- Relationship difficulties
- Work or school
- Major life changes
- Children and family
- Being too busy
- Financial problems
Internal causes of stress include:
- Lack of ability to accept uncertainty
- Pessimistic self-talk
- Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
- Unrealistic perfectionism / expectations
How to handle stress?
Many ways are using which you can handle stress, some of which are mentioned below:
- The simple act of communicating face-to-face with another person can trigger hormones that alleviate stress when you are feeling anxious or nervous. Even just a short exchange of kind words or a friendly look can help soothe and calm your nervous system. Thus, spend time with people who improve your mood and do not let your responsibilities keep you from having a social life.
- The food you consume can enhance or deteriorate your frame of mind and affect your capability to deal with stressors of life. Consuming a diet full of convenience and processed food, sugary snacks, and refined carbohydrates can deteriorate symptoms of anxiety, while a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, omega-3 fatty acids, and premium protein can help you better deal with ups and downs of life.
- You cannot eliminate stress from your life, but you can control how much it affects you. Relaxation techniques for instance meditation, yoga, and deep breathing activate the relaxation response of the body, a state of relaxation that is the opposite of the stress response. When regularly practiced these activities can lessen your everyday stress levels and boost feelings of serenity and joy. They also enhance your capability to stay calm and collected under pressure.
- Feeling tired can increase anxiety by causing you to think illogically. At the same time, chronic stress can bother your sleep. Whether you are having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night, there are several ways to improve your sleep so you feel less stressed and more productive.
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These are some of the ways by which you can reduce stress and depression and lead a normal life.