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Some of you may feel that your problems in life are endless; adding extra weight to the life you've already been given. Maybe big or small, but if not dealt with appropriately, they could cumulate a mass force holding you down. And that, is the work of stresses.

WHAT IS STRESS

According to MedicalNewsToday, stress is a natural human response adapting to the events and changes in life, creating responses such as fight or flight. To be more specific, in time of stress our bodies produce large amount of chemicals including cortisol adrenaline and noradrenaline. These chemicals are known to increase heart rate, heighten muscle preparedness, increase sweating and alertness.

In short term, stress can give you the push to complete your task. However, chronic stress (long term stress) could affect you physically and may potentially lead to chronic health issues or diseases.

HOW STRESS CAN AFFECT YOU PHYSICALLY

American Psychology Association (APA) summarized 5 major body system that could be affected by stress:

  1. Musculoskeletal- On sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up and release the tension as stress passes. People with a long-term stress condition could develop musculoskeletal disorder.

  2. Respiratory System- Acute stress, such as the death of a loved one, can trigger asthma attacks.

  3. Cardiovascular- Chronic stress can contribute to long-term problems for heart and blood vessels that leads to hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.

  4. Endocrine- When body is stressed, the hypothalamus will send signals to the nervous system and pituitary gland, including adrenal glands and liver, to produce epinephrine and cortisol (stress hormones).

  5. Gastrointestinal- When stressing out, you may develop an unhealthy diet by eating too much or too less. While your diet may change, so will the digestive system. Stomachs can react with nausea or pain, and it will also affect how quickly the food moves through your body. You may find that you have either diarrhea or constipation.

  6. Nervous system- How stress develops comes down to our nervous system. Chronic stress can result in a long-term drain on the body and cause a wear-and-tear to our nervous system.

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HOW YOU THINK ABOUT STRESS MATTERS

As mentioned above, there are times stress can give you the right push to work through things in life, but there are also times stress can do harm rather than good. Interestingly, how we perceive stress can change the effect of stress on us. Psychology Today provided 7 ways to not only beat stress, but to use it for our advantage:

  1. Accept that stress is part of life

  2. Keep problems in proper perspective

  3. Take care of the physical health

  4. Adapting healthy coping skills

  5. Balance social activity with solitude

  6. Acknowledge our own choices, and accepting results

  7. Always look for the silver lining