Best Resources for Stress

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Whelan Health & Wellness Coaching

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Elementals Massage

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Yoga in the Triangle

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Twin Waves Wellness Center

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Tilghman Whitacre Health

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Troy Blankenship

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Stress is a feeling that is experienced in response to a physical, mental, or emotional challenge. The two main types of stress are acute and chronic. Acute stress - goes away quickly, where the body reacts to stress by releasing hormones that make the brain more alert, cause muscles to tense, and speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. These reactions are normal and are the body’s way of protecting itself. Chronic stress - lasts for a longer period of time, where the body stays alert, even though there is no danger. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, erectile dysfunction (impotence), loss of libido, menstrual problems, and skin problems, such as acne or eczema. Emotional signs of stress include: anger, burnout, concentration issues, fatigue, a feeling of insecurity and irritability; stress-associated behaviors include: food cravings, over- and under eating, drug and alcohol misuse, higher tobacco consumption, social withdrawal, frequent crying, and relationship problems. The causes of stress are many, including getting married or divorced, school/university examinations, peer pressure/bullying bereavement, losing employment, having a baby, financial insecurity, and having a serious illness. Diagnosing stress can be challenging because it depends on many factors. To diagnose stress, doctors use questionnaires, biochemical measures, and physiological techniques and through a comprehensive, stress-oriented, face-to-face interview with the patient. Medications are usually not recommended to treat stress as they tend to mask the stress rather than solving the problem, however in some cases antidepressants may be prescribed. To deal with stress, patients should exercise regularly; reduce intake of alcohol, drugs, and caffeine; eat a healthy, balanced diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables, organize and plan daily activities; practice breathing and relaxation exercises e.g., meditation, massage, and yoga; talk to family, friends, or work colleagues; acknowledge the signs of stress. It is recommended to consult a counselor or psychotherapist to help remove or change the source of stress, alter how a person views a stressful event, and learn alternative ways of coping with stress.