What Causes Stress
Life generates a constant hum of stress, no matter who you are or what you do. The fact is the stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges or others. It comes from our thoughts about our circumstances. Other Surprising causes of stress include too much sugar in diet while ignoring other nutrients, excess caffeine, which activates the body’s stress hormones and makes stress worse, and unrequited usage of digital devices.
Stress impacts your body, mood, and behavior. Not only does it make you anxious, irritable and depressed, it also causes headache variations in BP, heart rate, insomnia, and even damage your immune system. Chronic stress leads to Insulin resistance thereby causing overweight and Diabetes.
- On Body brings in Headache, rise in BP, rise in heart rate, Fatigue, Sleep problems.
- On Mood – alleviates Anxiety, Irritability, depression.
- On Behaviour – makes you indulge in Over eating/under eating, Drug / alcohol / Tobacco abuse, social withdrawal, decrease in sex drive.
- Increased Cortisol and Epinephrine drug stress, which in turn leads to
- Rise in Blood Sugar.
- Damage to the arteries – CVD.
- Destroy connections in hippocampus (brain memory coordinating center).
- Damage your immune system.
- Chronic stress also leads to Insulin resistance thereby causing obesity and Diabetes.
One must know the difference between good stress and bad stress. Not all stresses are bad. As the name suggests, good stress, also called as Eustress will stimulate us and perform better in various areas of life.
- Playing sports
- Working to a deadline
Benefits → motivational, enhance learning, relaxed feeling due to accomplishments.
- Bad Stress on the other hand is highly demotivating and results in poor performance. Bad stress can be result of many factors like –
- Unsuitable Job
- Business Worries
- Domestic problems
- Financial problems
- Health Implications
- Relationship difficulties
- Good Stress must be more than bad stress. Good Stress is associated with balanced proportion of “Thamas”, “Rajas” and “Satva” which activates the inner balance in the body.
- We can’t find work life balance, we need to create it.
- There is no perfect, one size fits all, Balance. It’s different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.
- The core of effective work life balance are achievement and enjoyment.
- Women have greater challenges.
- Sometimes work life balance is almost blurred.
- Effective planning and time management a must to bring balance.
- Sleep and stress have two-way relationship
- In the REM stage of sleep, which is when dreams occur, levels of stress hormones decrease
- Getting a good night’s sleep improves your concentration and productivity and reduces irritability
- Thoughts are our best friends and worst enemies
- Meditate daily. This helps in calming the mind and you will be able to observe your thoughts and judgment.
- We should also remember that none of us can have complete control over the mind.
- Thoughts will be flowing in and out. We should just let them be – not invite them over and allow them to stay with you.
- The Goal is not to eliminate stressful events, but to manage your response to them.
- Recognize that which you have control over and recognize real problems from imaginary problems. This will help you prioritize and manage stress and time better.
- Plan your day. The more organized you are, the less stress you will have to face. It also helps to enjoy random works to lessen work pressure
- Above all, get more rest and adequate sleep.
- Socialize and Talk out your situation with someone who can help you feel better
- Meditation and Yoga makes you breathe deep, in turn relaxing your mind.
- Anything that can get to release dopamine (feel good) – Massages, exercise, yoga, walks, sex.
- Work on something that you are really passionate about, something that is close to your heart, everyday. The power of doing what you are passionate about is magical. It is as good as meditation. It releases Serotonin and Dopamine which are happy hormones making the whole process deeply satisfying and progressive.
A recent survey showed that 46% of Stress in the country is due to Work. It is essential to have work life balance. We can’t find work life balance, we need to create it. There is no perfect, one size fits all, Balance. It is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives. The core of effective work life balance are focusing on achievement and enjoyment of the work processes.
Sleep and stress have a two way relationship. The more you give importance to adequate sleep the lesser stress you will be left with when you wake up. In the REM stage of sleep, which is when dreams occur, levels of stress hormones decrease, leading to improved concentration and productivity, and reduced irritability. As Dalai Lama once said “Sleep is the best medication”.