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What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s response to the events that occur in your day to day life. Everyone experiences stress from time to time. Stress can be positive or negative . Positive stress or eustress motivates us to achieve notable goals. But negative stress or distress is destructive, taking its toll in many life areas. When stress becomes chronic or excessive, it becomes harder to adapt and cope with and can result in burnout. Sometimes when chronic stress seems like a normal way of life for some, especially women.

Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.Hence you get tense during stress.

What are the symptoms of stress?

  • Physical.

Headaches(tension headache and migraine), difficulty sleeping, tiredness, pain (most commonly in the back and neck), overeating/under eating, skin problems, drug and alcohol misuse, lack of energy, upset stomach, heart problems,Obesity, Bowel problems, Pregnancy issues

Menstrual problems. Premenstrual syndrome is more severe with increasing stress levels.

  • Emotional.

Anxiety, depression, anger, unhappiness, irritability, feelings of being out of control, mood swings, frustration.

  • Mental.

Forgetfulness, worry, can’t make decisions, negative thinking, lack of focus, boredom.

  • Occupational.

Work overload, long hours, tense relations, poor concentration, unfulfilling job.

  • Social.

Less intimacy, isolation, family problems, loneliness.

  • Spiritual

Apathy, loss of meaning, emptiness, unforgiving, doubt, guilt, despair.

What causes some of the stress?

Men and women share many of the same sources of stress, such as money matters, job security, health, and relationship issues. Perhaps a little more unique to women are the many roles they take on. In today’s society, women’s roles often include family obligations, caregiving for children and/or elderly parent (statistically more likely to be a woman) and work responsibilities as well as other roles. As demands increase to fulfill these roles, women can feel overwhelmed with time pressures and unmet obligations. They may feel a sense of failure in not being able to meet expectations for themselves and others. Oftentimes women spend more time meeting the needs of others rather than nurturing their own needs.

What amounts of stress should be a cause for concern?

Some of the signs it’s time to get help:

Depression or anxiety

Anger, irritability, or restlessness

Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused

Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

Racing thoughts or constant worry

Problems with your memory or concentration

Making bad decisions

Your work or school performance is suffering

You’re using alcohol, drugs, or tobacco to deal with your stress

Your eating or sleeping habits change significantly

You’re behaving in ways that are dangerous to yourself, including self-mutilation

You have irrational fears and anxiety

You have trouble getting through your daily responsibilities

You’re withdrawing from friends and family

You think about suicide or hurting other people.

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