Stress is a bodily response to the demands of life. It is an experience everyone has but too much stress can be harmful. There are emotional and mental aspects of stress. It is experienced as thoughts and feelings as well as in the body.
Mental stress response to psychological threats. Some of these threats might be losing a job or looking for employment, the death of a loved one, or relationship issues. Any of these can occur more than once in the course of a life.
Stress can be understood in the form of a fight or flight response. Which is a reaction to physical threats to one’s life. The fight or flight response causes the physical aspects of stress, which appear when adrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream. These hormones cause increased blood flow, clotting, elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Symptoms of stress:
- Stomach aches
- Body pain
- Acne or breakouts
- Digestive issues
- Suicidal ideation
- Food and eating issues
- Addictions and/or compulsions
- Substance abuse
Causes of stress
Stress is caused by numerous experiences that can be unbearable or uncontrollable for us. Soe causes may include:
- Experiencing a traumatic event or life-threatening situation often leads to stress.
- Unsafe environments, crime-ridden towns, and other safety issues may result in chronic stress.
- The diagnosis of a new disease, and the signs or complications of a new illness, lead to stress.
- Financial difficulties
Treatment options for stress
- Supportive psychotherapy to help understand and reflect on why and where the stressor is coming from
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help change negative thought patterns that develop because of stress.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) incorporate mindfulness in daily life, helping reduce stress.
- Relaxation techniques to combat mental symptoms of stress