Stress can be defined as a disruption of homeostasis in the human body by physical or psychological stimuli. When any situation acts as a stressor agent, our body sees it as a threat. The body gears up its energy for a ‘fight or flight’ response. The sympathetic nervous system gets stimulated and stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline are released. This increases the blood flow, raises blood pressure and prepares the body to react to the situation. If we are able to ‘fight’ with the stressful situation, the hormones in the blood get used up and the body slowly gets back to normal. But, if we fail to counter the stressful situation (flight response), the hormones and chemicals remain in the bloodstream for a long period of time. This causes symptoms of stress to appear at all three planes of human existence.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the most common by-product of any lifestyle that we may have chosen to live. The surprising thing is that in today’s world, even children are victims of stress. It is estimated that throughout the world, about 40 million working days are lost every year as a result of stress-related illnesses, and about 80% of patient-visits to physicians are stress-related. In fact, World Health Organization calls stress, ‘A global epidemic’.
Life is full of difficult situations, challenges and obstacles, which continuously provoke us to react. Sometimes, the pressure is so severe that we are unable to handle it and experience stress.
A little stress is required for us to function normally. This is called optimal or positive stress. Under such stress, the brain is emotionally and biochemically stimulated to sharpen its performance. It helps us get rid of unwanted thoughts and clutter, and focus our mind and energy on being productive. But when experienced in excess, stress has negative elements too. Negative stress can take control of our lives. The effects of stress are felt not only at the physical level, but also at mental and spiritual levels. In fact, latest medical research has established that prenatal stress can cause reduced blood-flow to fetal arteries, which can affect the development of the baby.
Physiology Of Stress
When any situation acts as a stressor, our body sees it as a threat. The body gears up its energy for a ‘fight or flight’ response. The sympathetic nervous system gets stimulated and stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline are released. This increases the blood flow, raises the blood pressure and prepares the body to react to the situation.
If we are able to ‘fight’ with the stressful situation, the hormones in the blood get used and the body slowly gets back to normal. But, if we fail to counter the stressful situation (flight response), the hormones and chemicals remain in the blood stream for a long period of time. This causes symptoms of stress to appear at all the three planes of human existence.
Causes Of Stress
There is no single cause for stress. It can originate from anything. The definition of ‘stress’ varies from person to person, e.g. Some may find driving highly stressful and waiting at the red signal may make them panic. While for some, driving is very relaxing.
So, what we find stressful also depends upon our outlook. But generally, stress is associated with external pressures, unrealistic expectations, negative attitude and frustration.
External pressures — This is the most common triggering agent, which continuously provokes our harmony, e.g. work deadlines, illness or accident, financial issues, balancing home and work, furnishing the demands of family amongst others.
These days, even children face stress, often because they are pressurized to excel academically.
Frustration – This is one of the major obstacles which prevents us from being content with life. We tend to dwell on our past and worry about our future, but totally ignore what we have in the present. Cynicism, negativity and irritability often fill our lives.
There may be many causes for frustration, e.g. an unsatisfying job, divorce, having to overcome the loss of a loved one, the lack of a desired ability or trait, a personal limitation amongst others.
Negative outlook – A negative outlook towards life makes our vision very limited. Many of us tend to look at the proverbial glass as half-empty, rather than half-full.
Types Of Stress
Stress can be triggered due to various factors, and can keep growing and hampering all our vitalities. It can rob our health, happiness and peace of mind. Psychologists have outlined three types of stresses. They are:
Acute Stress – This is perhaps the most recognizable form of stress because you actually know when and why you are stressed.
Sometimes we may put ourselves knowingly into situations of acute stress. For instance, trying bungee-jumping.
In acute stress, the body gets excited during the stressful event, but returns to normal when it ceases. So, the effect is for the short-term and does not cause any severe damage to the body.
Episodic Acute Stress – Some people experience episodes of acute stress frequently. They don’t know how to handle such situations. These episodes are so seamlessly blended into life that people become habituated to them and often continue to suffer throughout their lives.
Chronic Stress – Years of persistent stress can cause wear-and-tear of our body, mind and spirit. The major problem here is that people facing chronic stress, accept it as a part of their life and do not seek medical help. Inevitably, there comes a time when they can no longer bear the pressure and start succumbing to it. This has a severe effect on the body and may even lead to depression and death.
The following are some examples of situations in which a person may experience chronic stress: Dysfunctional family relationships, poverty and financial worries, caring for a chronically ill family member.
Traumatic Stress – This is the stress which arises due to any undesirable, intense or catastrophic event, e.g. sexual assault, a life-threatening accident, losing a loved one.
In this, the body does start to recover after the event ceases, but life is never the same for the person. The internal harmony between the body, mind and spirit is severely disturbed. The person may continue to have flashbacks or nightmares about the trauma and this makes it difficult for him/ her to lead a normal life. This is a very serious problem requiring immediate medical intervention.
Symptoms Of Stress
The stress response of the body is meant to protect and support us. But, the problem with the stress response is that the more it is activated, the harder it is to shut off. So, even when the crisis has ceased, the stress hormones and energized state of the body continue to exist. This has a severe impact on the immune system. Once the immune system gets disturbed, the entire body is in disharmony. Recent research suggests that anywhere from 65 to 90% of illnesses are stress-related.
Stress is easily felt in our bodies, minds, emotions and feelings. The specific signs and symptoms of stress vary from person to person. But, stress always has the potential to harm the health, emotional well-being, and relationships of the individual.
The following are some of the symptoms of stress on a physical and mental level:
Physical level: Headaches, digestive problems, muscle tension and pain, sleep disturbances, fatigue, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, decreased sex-drive, isolation from others, neglecting responsibilities, increasing alcohol and drug use, heart problems, stroke, ulcers.
Mental level: Excessive worry or fear, inability to concentrate, depression, agitation, memory problems, confusion, seeing only the negative, poor judgment, loss of objectivity, anger and resentment.
Spiritual level: Lack of confidence, low spirit, difficulty in taking decisions.
Symptoms Of Stress In Children
Unfortunately, children are also victims of this disease. There can be many stressors in their lives e.g. pressure to excel in studies, being brought up by a single parent, witnessing parents fight, being in a life-threatening situation, being sexually abused, being bullied and dominated amongst others.
If you think your child might be reacting to some form of stress or suffering from any trauma, here are some signs to look out for:
- Physical complaints like recurring stomach-aches and headaches.
- Sleep disturbances with nightmares.
- Destructive behavior like breaking toys.
- Fear, anxiety when away from family.
- Frequent crying or throwing tantrums.
- Compulsive re-enactment of the trauma through play or drawing.
- Rebelliousness and anti-social behavior.
Treatment Of Stress
Conventional Method Of Treating Stress
Stress affects virtually everyone at some point in their lives. It causes such strong mental, emotional and psychological disruption that we turn to allopathic medicines for instant relief. The conventional physician identifies stress as a disease.
So, if stress is linked with some sort of depression, anti-depressants are given.
Biogetica’s stress therapies can be helpful to most of us.* Conventional medicine’s approach of treating only the outward manifestations of stress meets with little success in the long-run. Biogetica’s approach uses natural therapies to not only ease the symptoms of stress, but also work towards bringing your entire being into harmony, so that you are able to handle stress well in the long-term.* It does so by bringing about positive changes in your emotional, psychological, physiological and immunological make-up.* The resonance Homeopathy, advanced Biotechnology and Nutraceutical remedies in the kits work by:
- Easing the physical body and nervous system.
- Taking care of the symptoms of stress, like restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, palpitations, sweating and cold palms and soles.
- Stimulating the body’s natural relaxation mechanisms into optimal functioning.*
- Calming the mind and overactive thought processes.*
- Balancing serotonin and dopamine levels, which are usually not in-sync among stressed individuals.*
In this way, Biogetica offers you a natural, safe and non-dependent way to balance your being and lead a stress-free life.*
Tips For Dealing With Stress
We have two choices when we are confronted with stress. One is to become a slave to a stressful situation. The other is to accept the stressor as a way of life, even use it to our advantage; test our abilities and make ourselves stronger.
Here are a few tips for Relief from Stress:
Have a well-balanced diet and make sure to take proper supplements.
Exercise — It’s a great stress-buster.
Take A break — Do not expect too much from yourself. Spend some time doing activities that you like, e.g. reading, shopping, chatting with friends, going for a drive.
Identify the focal point of your stress and do not hesitate to ask for help. Talking with a family member or counselor can help you combat this problem more effectively.
Practice relaxation techniques, like meditation, yoga and deep-breathing exercises. They will keep you balanced and help you stay calm in the present situation.