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Stress: what are the warning signs?

Excess of daily activities, work, concerns in general with financial issues, studies, family care and even with the pandemic. There is no shortage of reasons to experience the famous stress, a symptom that, if not well taken care of, can lead to more serious disorders.

First of all, it is important to know that stress is not a disease, but a natural reaction of the body to situations that our brain understands as threatening and puts us in a state of alert. It is the command of our brain that was formerly necessary to protect us from predatory animals, for example, while today it can be triggered in situations such as excessive charges at work.

In this state of alert, our body reacts by activating the production of certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. With this, we can present reactions such as acceleration of breathing and heartbeat, irritability, difficulty sleeping, among other symptoms.

In isolated situations, the tendency is for these symptoms to cease with the passing of the stressful episode, that is, it may be in a matter of minutes, hours or a few days, thus not being an extra factor of concern.

The problem occurs when stress becomes frequent and then it can trigger other problems in the body. When cortisol is released in excess, it can cause damage due to its inflammatory action in the body. For this and other reasons, stress can cause other illnesses, such as panic disorder, anxiety disorders, depression or Burnout syndrome, which is the disorder caused by exhaustion at work. Another example is acute stress disorder, which can occur in those who have experienced extremely traumatic experiences, such as a serious injury, violence or threat of death.

Signs of stress 

In isolated episodes of stress, the most common symptoms may be panting, transient increase in blood pressure, sweating, dry mouth, muscle pain, transient diarrhea, accelerated heartbeat, agitation, among other physical symptoms. After resolution or removal of the stressor, the tendency is for these symptoms to pass in a short time.

On the other hand, when stress is continuous, the problem can manifest itself in symptoms such as constant headaches, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, short tempers, lack of energy, stomach problems, increased or decreased appetite, dizziness and feelings of anger, sadness.

And it doesn’t stop there, since stress is still an important trigger for the manifestation of other pre-existing problems and thus causing disorders, such as skin problems, depression, heart problems, irritable bowel syndrome, difficulties to get pregnant, hypertension blood pressure and a greater number of asthma and arthritis attacks.

How to prevent stress?

One of the first steps to be taken is to identify which are the factors in life that are generating stress so that this cause is resolved. Often, this answer or resolution may not be very clear and, apart from that, it is important to be evaluated by a health professional. Talk to your routine doctor, as eventually your case should be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

In parallel, it is important to adopt some practices that are essential for the good maintenance of body and mind health. Are they:

  • Practice physical activities : doing physical exercises is essential for general health. They help release substances that relax and are painkillers, such as endorphins, improve cardiovascular and respiratory functions and help with physical conditioning;
  • Invest in a healthy diet : one of the damage caused by stress is the loss of vitamins. To restore and take care of your health as a whole, take care of vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C, magnesium, manganese and B vitamins, which can be found in foods such as chicory, lettuce and broccoli;
  • Sleep well: restorative sleep is essential for controlling both stress and preventing various diseases;
  • Practice relaxation activities: stretching, breathing control and time to meditate and rest your mind are very important.
  • Practice some hobby: it could be a manual activity, some sport, playing a musical instrument. The important thing is to choose something you like!
  • Plan your time : this way you avoid unnecessary stress situations;
  • Keep in touch with friends: this is undoubtedly one of the best therapies in the world, isn’t it?

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