WHY STRESS

Stress

As long as it does not interfere with individual performance and productivity, the phenomenon of stress can be a ‘normal’ experience. Stress can boost your performance and get you through a crisis. But it can also lead to serious problems. If you’re unduly stressed, you could be compromising your well-being. The symptoms of stress overload include fatigue, headaches, lack of concentration, difficulty making decisions, increased or decreased eating, inability to control anger, and the increased use of alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, or drugs.

Common situations that are associated with an increase in stress includes exams, stress at work and stress in relationships; all these adversely impact performance. Ignoring stress or using ineffective strategies (e.g. telling the person to “not take stress”) unfortunately has adverse consequences for both the individual (student, worker) and organization. Untreated it can lead to further complications such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, and alcohol or drug dependence. When our bodies stay stressed for long periods, the results can include conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Decreased immune defenses
  • Cancer
  • Stomach problems
  • Reduced brain functioning
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

 

Long term strategies focused on developing resilience in order to enhance stress management abilities in an individual. Resilience is a psychological attribute that improves ones thinking and self-management ability so that a person experiences more control and optimism when facing life challenges. Here are some tips to improve coping with stress:

  • Connect with Others. People who feel connected are happier and healthier — and may even live longer.
  • Improve physical activity levels. Exercise can help relieve insomnia and reduce depression, is good for you, and improves self-image and esteem.
  • Get Enough Sleep. Not getting enough rest increases risks of weight gain, accidents, reduced memory, and heart problems. A number of psychological techniques and basic sleep hygiene can help people sleep better.
  • Eat Well. Eating healthy food and regular meals can increase your energy, lower the risk of developing certain diseases, and influence your mood.
  • Get Professional Help if You Need It.

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