Stress is the feeling that the demands of your life are greater than your abilities to manage them. It is a feeling of loss of control over the current circumstances. Stressful life events, whether acute or chronic, can have a significant effect on one’s overall health. It can lead to a number of medical conditions, including high blood pressure and weight gain. It can affect one’s immune system and lead to a feeling of being burned out.
Various life events, including things that are considered positive can create stress. Therefore, marriage, a new job, and the birth of a child can all increase one’s stress level.
The experience of stress releases hormones which put your body into fight or flight mode. Symptoms of stress can include anger/irritability, lack of energy, nervousness, sadness, cognitive impairment and sleep disturbance. It is therefore important to develop appropriate skills for coping with stress.
Stress management techniques can involve learning cognitive restructuring techniques. Although we cannot always control the events of our lives, we can control our attitudes and responses towards these events. Additional practices could include progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques and mindfulness training. Time management strategies and addressing perfectionism may also be included.
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