In this day and age it would really be very difficult to find a person who does not undergo stress and strain in his or her life. When you experience work overload or suffer from financial losses or family tensions, then you will be under severe stress. There are a few people who feel that life is not enjoyable without any stress or tension. The majority of the people believe that stress is very bad both physically and mentally and would try to find various ways to avoid stress.
What Is Stress?
There are a lot of people that you might come across in your life with annoying habits and these people are often known as stressors. It is not just the people that are part of stressors, even the surroundings in which you are like: noises, speeding car, people shouting and so on are all considered to be stressors. When you feel that you are under pressure to do something or to commit something, then you are under stress. If you are facing a threat or a challenge from someone, your body will either try to get up and fight the challenge or will try to get away from the scene as fast as possible. Your non-essential body functions like digestive and immune systems will generally slow down when you are under severe stress and your heart rate, alertness, sweating and breathing will be increased in order to protect or fight against the stressful situation. The following are the physical and bodily changes that you will experience when you are under stress:
- Increase in the heart beat/ pulse rate
- Aggressive breathing
- Slowdown of digestive and immune system
- Loss of sleep
- Rise in blood pressure
- Muscle becomes tensed
The Causes Of Stress
Stress can come in any form and different types of stresses will be experienced by different types of people. The stress can affect people of all ages and also people from all walks of life. The poor and the rich, the young and the old and the blue collared or the white collared, anyone is susceptible to stress and strain in life. There is no way one can predict the stress level in individual people. Some of the common causes for an increase in the stress in life are:
There are quite a lot of people who undergo some stress or the other in their workplace most of the time. While some might be facing heavy workload stress, some of the workers would be feeling the tension due to their shouting bosses. Your job and your career is a constant source of stress for you. Some of the common types of stresses that you might face in your workplace are:
- Thoughts of climbing the career ladder
- Trouble with your co-workers
- New type of work and responsibility
- Overload of work
- Harassment by boss
Finance is everything in the modern age and financial stress is the major cause of stress in most people living in this world. Nothing can be achieved without finance and no matter you have less or more money, you will always like to have more. This desire to earn money and worry about fewer finances always puts you under tremendous pressure and strain. Some of the common tensions that people undergo due to financial stress are:
- Loss of income
- Being jobless
- Major purchases to make
- Worried about retirement
- Bankruptcy worries
Another main reason for most of the family men and women to experience a huge amount of stress is family problems. If there is some imbalance in the relationship between a man and a woman or a husband and a wife, then both of them will be undergoing huge stress in their lives. Some of the most common types of family stresses that you can see around you are:
- Abortion or miscarriage
- Illicit relationship with a man or a woman
- Divorce of parents
- Arguments with spouse
- Sick family member
- Poor health condition of spouse
- Job changes and relocation
Personal Relationship Stress
If the personal relationship between a man and a woman is poor, then there is going to be a lot of stress and strain in their relationship. Most of the people do not have the time, money as well as the emotions for the other partner in a personal relationship and this is a cause of stress for both the people involved. Some of the common problems that result in strained personal relationships are: dating, separation, divorce, childless issues, re-marriage, close friendship with the opposite sex and so on.
Effects Of Stress On Your Body
If you are suffering from long periods of stress and strain, then there are going to be quite a lot of changes that you will experience in your body that will not only affect you physically but will also bring changes in your thought process, feelings a swell as your behavior. You will develop a tendency to sweat profusely whenever you are in stress and you might also experience back and chest pains. Some of the ill effects of stress on your body are: headaches, difficulties in sleeping, nervousness, muscle aches and cramps, erectile dysfunction, stomach problems, nail biting and so on. There are also a few behavioral changes that you will find in a person who is stressed to the limit. The most common behavioral changes are: depression, fatigue, anger, anxiety, burnout, restlessness, sadness and concentration problems. Some of the other changes that you might find in a person who is stressed out are: eating either too much or too little, alcohol abuse, sex problems, withdrawal symptoms, increase in consumption of alcohol and tobacco, frequent outbursts of anger and being with oneself.
Common De-Stress Options
One of the best ways to relieve the tension that you are going through is to exercise regularly. It would be better off for you to divide your work obligations among your group so that you do not feel a lot of work tension. Reduction in the intake of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine will help in reducing your body’s stress levels. It is important for you to find time to relax, organize your life and to track your interests. You can also think of relaxing your body by undergoing relaxation techniques like yoga, massage and meditation which are well known to de-stress and to energize people. But, it is also vital for you to follow healthy and good food habits and eat foods that help in reducing stress.
17 Super Foods To Fight Stress
Green tea is a good stress buster. The green and black tea contains a special amino acid called theanine which is highly helpful in reducing anxiety in people and promoting sleep. According to studies, green tea drinkers are less stressed or de-stress faster than people having any other tea-substitute.
Serotonin is the feel-good chemical in the brain. Carbohydrates promote the production of serotonin in the brain. The complex carbohydrates are digested slowly by our system and hence the body receives a constant supply of serotonin. The best source of these complex carbohydrates are whole grains, whole grain or wheat bread, oatmeal etc. They also help to keep the blood sugar at normal levels. When there is enough amount of serotonin in the brain we feel de-stressed.
They are great stress reducers as they contain Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, zinc and magnesium which are necessary for the production of the brain chemical serotonin which controls our mood swings. Zinc is an element which helps to reduce the bad effect of stress on our body. The antioxidants present in the almonds removes the free radicals present in the body which causes aging and related diseases.
Blue berries are rich in vitamin C and help in combating stress to a great extent. They have the antioxidant anthocyanin which gives health benefits. In most people stress produces constipation and cramps. The fiber present in the blueberries relieves the constipation.
Asparagus contain Folate which is a content that helps people maintain their coolness. You can steam the slender stalks and can be added to any salads you can also consume them broiled.
Dark chocolate contains flavanoids like tea and are best in providing relaxation to the brain. Studies have proved that those who eat dark chocolate had lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in our body. Chocolates can always impart a soothing feeling to any person having it. It lowers our blood pressure when taken in moderation. It is better to consume dark chocolates once in a week. They are also heart healthy and any heart healthy food offers better control of tension and depression.
Fatty fish like tuna, Salmon or any other fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acid has the ability to distress the mind. Experiments have proved that omega 3 supplements are able to reduce the anxiety in students by 20 %. These fatty acids from fish are able to control the level of cortisol during stressful situations.
Another food that contains a large amount of stress busters are broccoli. They contain Vitamin B or Riboflavin which works as a stress reliever. Broccoli also contains folic acid which also helps in relieving stress, depression and anxiety. You can consume broccoli as salad or you can use it along with fish, chicken or beef.
The seaweeds in sushi have anxiety –fighting properties. It contains magnesium, vitamin B2 and pantothenic acid which has stress relieving properties. The crucial content in Sushi is the pantothenic acid. The deficiency of pantothenic acid can cause anxiety feeling and chronic fatigue. People will be more prone to infection if there is a deficiency of the particular content in the body.
This is another food item which helps you to chill. The iron, vitamin B and zinc help to avoid stress related problems. Since beef has a high fat content it is better to opt for the lean cuts, which include top round, tenderloin top sirloin.
If you want to make your body stress proof go for avocados which are a good source of glutathione. This glutathione prevents the intestinal absorption of unwanted fats which cause damages to the body by getting oxidized. The amount of vitamin E, beta-carotene, folate and lutein is more in avocado than in any other fruit.
Cashews have a relatively high content of zinc. One ounce serving provides 11 % of your daily dose. When the zinc level decreases in our body, we are more susceptible to anxiety and depression. Our body cannot store zinc and hence it is necessary to get a daily supply of zinc to keep you stress free.
Oranges are the storehouses of vitamin C. They are available in different varieties and all of them offer stress control. They reduce the levels of stress hormones and strengthen our immunity system. It has been proven that when you take vitamin C before any stressful task, their blood pressure and cortisol returned to normal level more quickly.
Magnesium is necessary for the smooth working of the body. Magnesium helps the muscles in our body to relax and also calms down our nerves during stressful situations. You can find maximum magnesium in leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard etc.
A glass of warm milk before sleep may help many to sleep better. The calcium present in the milk controls the mood swings especially for those that occurs during PMS. You can also depend on kale and soybeans for your daily supply of calcium to have a more stress free life every day.
People know oysters as aphrodisiacs, they are not aware that they are a good source of zinc. You can get more than half of your daily recommended dose of zinc from oysters. It is better to consume them raw.
This is a major source of vitamin B. This vitamin is extremely important for the maintenance of body cells, tissues and various organs. They also take part in many bio- chemical reaction which relates to energy use, brain function, immunity and proper cardiac function. You will not get any mood swings when you have the right amount of this vitamin in your body. It is even possible to treat irritability or mood swings in a person by consuming brown rice.
Do you dream of keeping your body and mind at ease? Are you looking to avoid stress and strain in your daily life? If you answered yes to the above questions, then you should include two or more items from the above given list in your daily diet.