Stress is the body’s natural, physiological response to any situation that is difficult or uncomfortable, or one that puts pressure on us. It can affect us mentally and physically. Here are some explanation on what the different kinds of stress are.
What are the Causes for Stress?
The causes for stress can be innumerable and maybe divided into factors
The internal factor refers to the personality types which in itself maybe anxious, depressed, obsessive, or dependent.
The external environment may refer to stress related to study, relationships, death and divorce, chronic physical illness, financial matters etc.
What are the Signs of Stress?
- Clammy extremities
- Butterflies in stomach feeling
- Desire to keep going to the toilet
- Appetitive and sleep disturbances
- Difficulty with breathing
- Problems related to sexuality
All these symptoms are related to psychological distress.
What are the symptoms of stress?
Stress can manifest itself in different ways; however the most common symptoms of stress are:
- Insomnia leading to tiredness
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Low mood
- Consuming too much caffeine or alcohol
- Low productivity accompanied by feelings of low achievement, regular absence and a higher sickness rate
- Being accident-prone
- Being cynical and defensive
- Finding fault
- Headaches, backache, indigestion, weight lossor gain, shortness of breath, regular or lingering colds.
Types of treatment for stress?
• Stress counselling
Some people are treated as outpatients, which means they come to Priory for hourly stress counselling sessions with their consultant, psychologist or therapist.
• Inpatient stress treatment
You may require a more structured stress treatment approach which can include staying as an inpatient at one of the Priory hospitals for the duration of your treatment where you take part in the psychological group programme as well as regular sessions with a consultant.
You could also be suffering from depression or drug or alcohol misuse, so you may need a short course of medication.
10 ways to beat stress
There are some really easy ways to beat stress effectively. Here are some that I have encountered as a student:
1#. Healthy diet
Eating fresh ingredients and lots of fruit is really important. Juices filled with vitamin C, such as orange or grapefruit juice, are said to be good for your immune system so can help with stress.
When you’re busy and tired it can be tempting just to grab another pizza or ready meal, but cooking from scratch can be therapeutic as well as being healthier.
Doing sport at least once a week is the best way to reduce stress. It helps your body produce endorphins, which make you feel good. Even daily walks of 30 minutes can help reduce stress levels but it’s even better to work out intensively. Even if you don’t feel like it at the time you will feel the benefits afterwards.
Joining a sports club could also help with stress as the regular contact with other people should help improve your mood.
And why not try yoga? It’s a great way to ease your mind and relax your muscles.
It might sound simple, but sitting quietly for 10 minutes a day can really help with stress levels. If you’ve never tried meditation before, it’s worth a go.
Good breathing techniques can put you in a more relaxed state as they send oxygen surging through your bloodstream, helping to calm you down and beat the stress.
4#. Take breaks regularly
Short breaks between working can help you switch off. But longer breaks are important too. How about taking the weekend off to relax? Make time for fun and for yourself even if this means that you have to schedule time away from your work. You’ll hopefully come back to your work feeling fresh.
5#. Get a pet
It is said that spending time with animals is good for your health. If you pat a dog for a couple of minutes, your body releases hormones that make you feel happy and can decrease the amount of stress in your system.
Most uni halls won’t let you keep an animal though, so spending some time with friends or family who have pets is a good option: you get the love without the commitment.
6#. Sleep (and sign off Facebook)
Sleep is always the best medicine and some people find that small 20-minute naps can help increase productivity.
As students we tend to spend too much time on social media sites and answering emails, texts and phone calls. Sociability is fun – but too much of it, and too much computer time, can lead to more stress.
Failing to switch off from work because of your electronic gadgets will only make you even more stressed.
7#. Quit smoking
Some people say they smoke to relax, but researchers on the European Board for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco suggest that nicotine suppresses the hormone serotonin, which fights stress. Another good reason to quit.
8#. Try to see the positive side
If you missed a deadline, try to appreciate what you learned from this mistake: now you know how to plan ahead. Things might seem bad, but if you try, there is usually something positive to be learned.
9#. Listen to music
Listening to music can help calm you down and put you in a better frame of mind. If you’re feeling stressed, putting on some calming music while you work could really help.
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it’s really true. Laughing out loud increases oxygen and blood flow which automatically reduces stress.
Not taking life too seriously can help everyone live a better and easier life. Make time for yourself, log out of Twitter and take breaks. It’s about time that we students accept that we can achieve just as much in life without all the stress.