Stress is an ordinary part of everyday life. Young or old. Male and female. Employed or unemployed. Students. We all experience stress to a certain degree. For most of us, we know stress as being “all bad” for us. While this is true, on the other hand, it forms an integral part of our survival. It’s important to understand the dangers of stress and how to manage it.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about stress, the types, causes and essential tips on how to manage it.
BONUS! We’ve also included some free courses to help you manage your stress levels better!
What Is Stress?
Stress is the feeling and reaction you experience to any physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Our bodies are naturally designed to deal with stress. Our bodies signal to us through various physical responses of issues that need to be addressed.
When a work deadline is looming, positive stress can push you to perform and deliver the task. Away from work, the small bursts of stress serve as your body’s survival instinct kicking and helping avoid danger.
Prolonged bursts of stress can negatively impact the mind and body and can become chronic.
“It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.” Hans Selye
The Dangers of Stress and How to Manage it
What Causes Stress?
We spend a third of our lives at work. That’s thousands of hours in a lifetime. Deadlines, difficult managers, team members, career switching, changing work environments and simply not having enough hours in the day can all contribute to stress. It’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming. The workplace can be taxing. But it’s not just work. There are many different factors that contribute to stress which can be both internal and external factors:
- Parenting challenges
- Personal relationships
- Financial worries
- Major life changes
Each of these affects us differently and our ability to cope with ease differs, but if you are able to identify the warning signs of stress, you will be able to manage it better.
Types Of Stress
Three main types of stress can be identified:
- Acute stress: these stresses are a result of a traumatic experience like the death of a loved one, an accident, injury, or violation. Survivors often end up developing unhealthy coping techniques like using alcohol and emotional detachment. In worst-case scenarios, it can turn into PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which can last for years.
- Chronic stress: this a prolonged stress on an individual due to a recurring stressor. These stressors can be work-related or relational. It becomes chronic because they are long-lasting, are more difficult to manage and can end up causing chronic conditions like high blood pressure and anxiety.
- Eustress: this is also known as the body’s “fight or flight” response to dangers and threats. It raises your awareness and the burst of adrenaline that comes with it prompts your body to either fight or run from the danger.
The Dangers of Stress
Stress is mental and emotional, but its effects can be physical too. When we can’t find healthy ways to deal with stress, it can be debilitating on our bodies, affecting our health. Other effects of stress are:
- Anxiety in the workplace
- Headaches, dizziness, migraines
- Digestive problems
- High blood pressure
- Lack of motivation, restlessness, lack of focus
For many of us, stress is manageable, however, for a vast number of people, their 9-5 and personal stressors are more than they can handle.
We can’t run from work or the challenges, responsibilities, and realities of life. This means we must find healthy and productive ways to cope with stress in every area of our lives. Our course on stress management in the workplace provides you with the skills you need to know to deal with the different pressures we all face.
Tips on How to Manage Stress
- Exercise and relax.
This can’t be stressed enough. Taking time to relax the mind, body and soul releases the tensions in the body. You can take a course that teaches and broadens your understanding of how the body’s soft matter can heal. With this course, you will also learn how to incorporate the different elements of the body to relax.
- Eat well
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the simple, easy-to-do solution to many of life’s problems. When you arm your body with the right nutrients, you arm it to fight some of the effects can have on your body. It also reduces lethargic feelings, giving you the strength to face and fight the stresses that come your way with a fresh, clear mind and body.
- Create goals
Procrastination is the thief of time. When you leave things to the last minute, you create unnecessary stress on yourself. Set goals, get organised as much and as far as you are able and stick to them. It’s not always easy to do, but this means you’ll be able to adjust and adapt to unexpected life emergencies when they arise. You are better able to handle what falls on your plate because you have a working system that keeps things in check.
- Find balance
The body is designed to withstand and do a lot. It’s not however designed to keep going non-stop. Find a way to balance your work and home commitments. Give yourself a break.
- Seek help
Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak. Don’t be afraid to seek and ask for help. We aren’t designed to do life alone. There is always someone who can lend a hand if you’re struggling. Talk therapy and in some instances, taking prescribed medication are viable solutions to help you where you fall short.
We’ve put together a list of several courses that can help you identify the dangers of stress and teach you how to manage it:
- Practical Stress Management for Life & Work
- Coping Skills – Freedom From Stress & Pain
- Emotional Resilience at Work
- Introduction to Stress Management
Take a few minutes of your day to do a quick check-in and take our Mental Wellbeing Assessment.
Stress is an everyday reality for all of us. Equipping yourself with the knowledge and skills to identify the dangers of stress and how to manage it, you will lead a happier, healthier life. The more you know, the more you’ll grow! We have many free courses and resources available that will teach you stress management skills that you can use at both work and home and will bring you much-needed relief.