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Stress: Everything You Need To Know (And How To Reduce Stress)

Stress in everyday life is a feeling people have when they are overloaded and have difficulty meeting demands.

These demands can relate to finances, work, relationships, other situations and anything that presents a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person's well-being can create additional stress.

Stress can be a motivator. It can be essential for survival. The “fight-or-flight” mechanism can tell us when and how to respond to danger. However, if this mechanism is triggered too easily, or if there are too many stressors at once, it can undermine a person's mental and physical health and become harmful.

According to the Amsterdam University's annual stress survey, the average stress level in the Netherlands increased from 4,9 to 5,1 on a scale of 1 to 10 in the past year. The main reasons mentioned for this are employment and money.

Fast facts on stress:

Here are some important facts about stress. More details can be found at the bottom of the main article.

  • Stress helps prepare the body for danger.
  • The symptoms can be physical as well as psychological.
  • Short-term stress can be helpful, but long-term stress has been linked to a variety of health conditions.
  • We can prepare for difficult moments by learning some self-management tips.

What is Stress?

Stress is the body's natural defense against predators and danger. It triggers the body's hormone production so that it can prepare to avoid or deal with danger. This is more commonly known as the “fight-or-flight mechanism”.

When we are faced with a challenge, part of our response is physical. The body activates means to protect us by preparing us to stay and fight or to flee as quickly as possible.

The body produces greater amounts of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These lead to an increased heart rate, increased muscle preparedness, sweating and alertness. All of these factors improve the ability to respond to a dangerous or challenging situation.

Environmental factors that cause this reaction are called stress indicators. Examples include noises, aggressive behavior, a car speeding, scary moments in movies, or even going out on a first date. The more factors we experience, the more stressed we feel.

Changes in the body

Stress slows down normal bodily functions, such as digestion and the immune system.

The body changes in the following ways during stress:

  • Blood pressure and pulse rate rise
  • Rapid breathing
  • Delayed digestion
  • The immune activity decreases
  • The muscles are tense
  • Increased state of alertness
  • Prevention of sleep

How we respond to a difficult situation will affect how stress affects us and our health. A person who feels that he does not have enough resources to deal with these feelings is more likely to have a stronger reaction which in turn can cause health problems. Stress factors affect people in different ways.

Some experiences that are generally considered positive can lead to stress, such as having a baby, traveling, moving to a nicer home, and / or being promoted.

This is because they often involve significant change, added tension, new responsibilities, and a need for adjustment. They are also steps into the unknown. The person wonders if he can handle it.

A persistent negative response to challenges can adversely affect health and happiness. However, being aware of how you respond to stressors can help reduce the negative feelings and effects of stress and manage it more effectively.


One can recognize 3 different types of stress.

acute stress

This type is short-lived and is the most common. Acute stress is often caused by thinking about the pressures of events that have occurred recently, or future demands in the near future.

For example, if you've recently been involved in an argument that has caused confusion or has a deadline ahead, you may feel tense about these triggers. However, this feeling will diminish once these are resolved.

It doesn't cause the same amount of damage as long-term, chronic stress. Short-term effects include tension headaches and upset stomach. However, it can also bring some kind of suffering.

Repeated cases of acute stress over a long period of time can become chronic and harmful.

Episodic acute stress

People who often experience acute stress, or whose lives often give rise to anxiety, have acute episodic stress.

A person with too many commitments and poor organization may exhibit episodic stress symptoms. These include a tendency to be irritable and tense. This irritability can thus affect relationships. People who are constantly overly worried can also experience this type of stress.

This kind can also lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Chronic stress

This is the most harmful form and is often present over a longer period of time.

Persistent poverty, a dysfunctional family, or an unhappy marriage can cause chronic stress. It occurs when a person never sees an escape from the source of their tension and thus stops looking for solutions. Sometimes it can be caused by a traumatic experience at a young age.

Chronic stress can go unnoticed because people can get used to it. This in contrast to acute stress. A solution is immediately available for acute stress. Chronic stress can become part of an individual's personality, leaving him or her constantly susceptible to the effects of stress, regardless of the scenarios they find themselves in.

People with chronic stress are so affected that it can eventually lead to suicide, violent actions, heart attacks and strokes.


We all react differently to stressful situations. What is stressful for one person may not always be stressful for another. Almost anything can cause stress. For some people, just thinking about something or a few small things can cause stress.

Common major life events that can bring stress include:

  • Occupational issues or retirement
  • Lack of time or money
  • Loss
  • Family problems
  • Ailments
  • Move
  • Relationships, marriage and divorce

Other common causes of stress are:

  • Abortion or miscarriage
  • Driving in heavy traffic and / or fear of an accident
  • Fear of crime or problems with neighbors
  • Pregnancy
  • Become older
  • Excessive noise, overcrowding and pollution
  • Uncertainty or waiting for an important result

Some situations will affect some people and not others. Past experiences can affect how someone will respond.

Sometimes there is no identifiable cause. Mental health problems, such as depression, or a build-up of frustration and anxiety, can make some people feel stressed more quickly than others.

Some people experience constant stress after a traumatic event, such as an accident or some type of abuse. This is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those in stressful jobs, such as in the military or emergency services, are debriefed after a major incident and monitored for PTSD.


The physical effects of stress include:

  • Sweating
  • Pain in the back or chest
  • Cramps or muscle cramps
  • Erectile dysfunction and loss of libido
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • High bloodpressure
  • Lower immunity to disease
  • muscle strain
  • Vibrations
  • Sleep problems
  • Upset stomach

A 2012 study suggested that the stressors experienced by parents, such as financial hardship or single-parent family management, can lead to obesity in their children.

Emotional responses can include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Burn out
  • Concentration problems
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • A feeling of insecurity
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Nail biting
  • Sadness

Behaviors related to stress include:

  • Food cravings and so overeating
  • Tantrums
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Higher tobacco consumption
  • Social withdrawal
  • Frequent crying
  • Relationship problems


A doctor will normally diagnose stress by asking the patient about the symptoms and life events.

The diagnosis is complex. It depends on many factors. Questionnaires, biochemical measures and physiological techniques are used, but they are not always objective or effective.

The most direct way to diagnose stress and its effects on a person is through an extensive, stress-oriented, face-to-face conversation.


Treatment includes self-help and, in cases where the stress is caused by an underlying condition, certain medications.

Therapies that can help induce relaxation include aromatherapy or reflexology.

Some insurers will cover these types of treatments, but make sure they are right for your conditions before starting.


Doctors usually won't prescribe medications to deal with stress unless the patient has an underlying illness, such as depression or depression kind of fear.

In that case, the doctor is treating a mental illness and not the cause of the patient's anxiety.

In such cases, a benzodiazepines or antidepressant are prescribed. However, there is a risk that the medication is only masking the stress, rather than helping you deal with and cope with it. These agents can also have side effects.

Developing a number of stress management strategies can help an individual deal with new situations and maintain physical and mental health. If you are already experiencing overwhelming stress, seek medical attention. Your doctor or health care provider may then need you Buy Alprazolam let.

How to deal with stress yourself

Here are a few lifestyle choices you can take to manage or prevent your feelings of stress.

Reduce the use of alcohol, drugs and caffeine: These substances will not help prevent stress, and they can make it even worse. Its use should therefore be prevented.

Choose a healthy diet: A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps the immune system in times of difficulty. Poor nutrition leads to poor health and additional feelings of tension.

Set prioritiesSpend a little time organizing your to-do list to see what's most important. Then focus on what you have already accomplished that day, rather than what you have left to do.

Make time for yourself: Take some time for yourself every day. Use it to organize your life, relax and pursue your own interests.

Do breathing and relaxation exercises: Meditation, massage and yoga can help. Breathing and relaxation techniques can slow down the system and help you relax. Breathing is also a central part of meditation.

Talk more: Talking to family, friends, and colleagues about your thoughts will help you “let off steam”. You may feel so comforted because you are “not alone”. You may even find an easy solution that you didn't think of.

Recognize the signs: A person may be so concerned about the problem causing the stress that he or she may not notice the effects on his or her body.

Noticing symptoms is the first step in taking action. People who suffer from work stress due to long working hours may need to take a step back. It may be time to review the situation and talk to a supervisor about reducing the workload.

Find something that relaxes you: Most people have something that helps them relax, such as reading a book, going for a walk, listening to music, or spending time with a friend or pet. Joining a choir or a gym helps some people, too.

Find a support group: It is recommended to develop networks of social support, for example by talking to neighbors and others in the local community, or by joining a club, charity or religious organization.

Even if you don't feel stressed now, being part of a group can prevent stress from developing and provide support and practical help during difficult times.

Social networks online can help, as long as it doesn't take the place of face-to-face contact. It can allow you to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away, and this can reduce anxiety.

If stress is affecting your daily life, you should seek professional help. A doctor or psychiatric specialist can often help, for example through training in stress management.

Techniques for managing stress

Stress management can help with this:

  • Avoid the source of the stress
  • Change the way you view a stressful event
  • Reduce the impact it can have on your body
  • Choose alternative ways of coping with difficult situations

Stress management techniques can be obtained from self-help books, online, or by taking a stress management course. A counselor or psychotherapist can help a person with stress find personal development courses or individual and group therapeutic sessions.

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