Why do we feel stressed out? Is it bad to live a stressful life?
Stress is a perfectly normal human mechanism that evolved to signal us to “fight or flight”.
So humans like most other animals feel stress when facing dangerous situations, and it tells us that we have two options, to fight or to get away as fast as possible, and that any other option will lead to death.
However, we no longer face life and death situations in our daily life, as modern life is substantially different from the life our body and brain evolved to live.
Therefore it happens that we feel stress almost exclusively in times we’re not really in danger.
It can be confusing and harmful if we remain under stress for prolonged periods of time.
The three major types of stress
There are three common types of stress: acute, episodic acute, and chronic. The most common type is acute and it’s not necessarily bad. It can be harnessed in the short term.
It’s your body’s response to challenges like an exam, a presentation or pitch, etc.
Some of the symptoms are distress, stomach cramps or unrest, muscular tension, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure and more, and it doesn’t tend to be dangerous.
Episodic acute stress is similar to acute stress but recurring frequently.
A person who suffers from it will start to feel like nothing is going his way and that everything is wrong.
It’s physically exhausting and mentally draining, and left untreated it may lead to hostility towards others, and being easily irritated. It’ll most likely take a toll on your relationships with people.
Chronic stress is when a person experiences stress so frequently that he or she has no time to recharge between cycles.
It’s depleting to the body and can be mentaly and physically dangerous (stress is highly related to heart problems).
It can be caused by unhappy family and relationship situations, lack of money and means, or a very stressful job among other things.
How dangerous is it?
Living a stressful life is no joke! It’s estimated that 43% of all adults suffer from stress related illnesses, and most doctor visits in the US are due to stress related ailments.
Suffering from chronic stress and even episodic acute stress can lead to: headaches, chronic back and neck pains, high blood pressure, asthma, joint pains and arthritis, depression and dysthymia, and also anxiety.
Stress can also promote lung and liver diseases, and ultimately cancer.
Stress also releases hormones that constrict your blood vessels and increase your heart rate, and that cause your heart to work much harder, so physical damage to your heart muscles is also a big risk.
Weight gain is a prevalent symptom of stress too.
It weakens your immune system and can cause long term health issues even after you solve your stress problem.
How to deal with stress, and how to lead a less stressful life?
First and foremost you’ll need to start by taking care of yourself. Studies show that having a well balanced life contributes to a balanced state of mind.
Eating a healthy and rich diet, sleeping enough, and exercising regularly are all very important, and will naturally decrease the stress hormones in your body.
You can enjoy so many online workout programs that will fit into the tightest schedule, with many kinds of physical exercise.
Identifying what are the main causes of stress in your life. Once you figure it out you can start to work on each stress trigger appropriately.
Work is a major stress trigger in many people’s lives, as it fills most of our time, and the modern work environment can be very demanding and stressful.
You may need to consider monitoring your professional/personal life balance, and not neglect your well being for a job.
Also, developing a good time management system can really do wonders in reducing stress, as you might find that you can do all the things you need to do at work in less time.
If it’s your personal life that is stressing you out, you’ll need to check what’s lacking and what you can improve.
Having a toxic or unfulfilling relationship can make your life a living hell, and add stress levels that can paralyze you and affect all other aspects of your life.
You and your partner should seek counseling (assuming that you both want to fix your relationship). Online counseling might be the most stress free option, as it saves time and money.
Here are some fantastic sites for online counseling.
Managing what you expect of yourself is also important, as well as filtering what others expect of you. Sometimes we’re being too hard on ourselves and that can be very taxing.
And sometimes we give too much weight to how people see us. Therapy can help here as well.
A good hack will be to limit your time on social media. There are a lot of studies that support the correlation between stress and time spent on social media.
It presents a twisted version of reality where everyone is so happy, successful and beautiful and you can easily feel that your life doesn't compare.
Money issues can be very stressful, and if you have troubles on the financial side you might need a lifestyle change.
You might be spending beyond your means, and that means you’ll need to spend less or earn more, or if you don’t have a job you’ll need to find one.
It might take you some time to make the necessary changes, but it’ll change your life for the better.
Read some guides about budgeting and financial health, and try to stick to a 50/30/20 rule (spend 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and save 20% of your income). You also have a few good budgeting apps to help you with this.
Lead a stress less life
Stress will shorten your life and will cause many physical and mental health issues.
A little bit of stress isn’t bad for you, and it can stimulate you to do things rapidly and efficiently.
However, too much stress is something you should worry about and treat, and never brush it off.
There can be more than one stress trigger in your life, and it’s important to identify them and deal with each one accordingly.
Modern life can be very demanding and fast paced. We’re all short on time, but finding the balance to lessen the stress in your life is paramount.
Luckily there are a lot of time-saving perks coming with our modern lifestyle, and we have access to many online apps and programs that will help us with time management, therapy and counseling, budgeting, and even past time activities