In this article, we’ll look at what Chronic Stress is, how to identify it, and the medical consequences it can have. Also, I’ll try and describe ways to manage stress. Furthermore, short-lived feelings of stress are a regular part of daily life.
And when these feelings become chronic, or long-lasting, they can severely impact a person’s health. But, do not try to deal with chronic stress alone. If self-help strategies are not working, a doctor can provide advice and all treatment.
Equally important, they can also refer a person to a more specialized healthcare provider, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. And by all means, anyone feeling overwhelmed by stress should see a doctor as soon as possible. Especially, if they are having suicidal thoughts or using drugs or alcohol to cope.
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In addition, self-help techniques include identifying triggers, as well as developing coping and avoidance strategies. Not forgetting, to reach out to friends and family, and practice mindfulness. But, if these techniques are not working, or if stress is becoming overwhelming, a person should speak to a healthcare professional.
What Is Chronic Stress?
Chronic Stress is a biological response to demanding situations causing the body to release hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones help prepare the body to take action, for example by increasing the heart and breath rates. And when this occurs, a doctor might describe a person as being in a state of heightened alertness or arousal.
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Many factors can trigger a stress response, including dangerous situations and psychological pressures, such as work deadlines, exams, and sporting events. The physical effects of stress usually do not last long. However, some people find themselves in a nearly constant state of heightened alertness. This is chronic stress.
Some causes include high-pressure jobs, financial difficulties, challenging relationships, etc. In most cases, it puts pressure on the body for an extended period which can cause a range of symptoms and increase the risk of developing other illnesses.
Chronic Stress Signs And Symptoms
Many people have chronic stress and anxiety, but they don’t even know it. They face symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, tension, a racing heart, and chest pain. In most cases, chronic stress affects the whole body. Not forgetting, it can have several physical or psychological symptoms, which can make functioning on a daily basis more challenging.
In fact, anxiety is among the most common mental health issues. Whilst, in some cases, another health condition, such as an overactive thyroid, can lead to an anxiety disorder. But, getting an accurate diagnosis can ensure the best treatment.
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As an example, in Kenya alone, more than 18 percent of adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year. The type and severity of symptoms vary considerably from person to person. Below are other notable signs and symptoms of stress.
- irritability, which can be extreme
- fatigue, headaches plus nervousness
- difficulty concentrating, or an inability to do so
- rapid, disorganized thoughts and difficulty sleeping
- digestive problems, and changes in appetite
- feeling helpless or a perceived loss of control
- low self-esteem, loss of sexual desire
- frequent infections or illnesses
Over long periods, chronic stress can contribute to the development of a range of physical and mental disorders. The range of physical and mental disorders may vary or even be a combination of various related and notable signs.
- heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity
- a weakened immune system, sexual dysfunction
- gastrointestinal disorders, skin irritation
- respiratory infections, autoimmune diseases
- insomnia, burnout, depression, anxiety disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, or schizophrenia
Improving sleep quality is one of the best ways to manage stress. Getting too little sleep or sleep of poor quality can contribute to stress. Try to get at least 7 hours every night, and set regular times for going to sleep and waking up. Avoid caffeine, eating, and intense physical activity in the hours before bed.
How To Manage Stress
Chronic stress can seem overwhelming, and a person may feel unable to regain control over their life. However, a number of strategies can help to reduce stress levels and improve well-being. It can also help to unwind before sleeping, by listening to music, reading a book, taking a warm bath, or meditating, for example. Other common management methods include:
- Understanding the signs and symptoms. These indications can vary, but if a person can recognize their own signals of stress, they will be better able to manage them.
- Speaking to friends and family. They can provide emotional support and the motivation to take action.
- Identifying triggers. It is not always possible to avoid triggers of stress. However, taking note of specific triggers can help a person to develop coping and management strategies, which may involve reducing exposure.
- Exercising regularly. Physical activity increases the body’s production of endorphins, which are chemicals that boost mood and reduce stress. Exercise can involve walking, cycling, running, working out, or playing sports.
- Trying mindfulness. People who practice this form of meditation use breathing and thought techniques to create an awareness of their bodies and surroundings. Research suggests that mindfulness can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, and depression.
If strategies such as those listed above are not helping, it is important to see a healthcare professional for advice and support. A doctor may recommend psychological therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (in short CBT) plus other best ways.
Other coping means are:
- a routine physical exercise,
- meditation or relaxation yoga,
- writing down your mind,
- time management plan creation,
- aromatherapy or massage,
- cannabidiol oil or herbal tea
- herbal and dietary supplements
- biking or hiking with friends, etc.
In addition, I would be so glad to see your other genius methods apart from the ones listed above that can benefit our readers. So, feel free to share them in our comments section below this guide.
How Is Chronic Stress Treated?
Eventually, Chronic Anxiety that interferes with a person’s ability to function warrants treatment. And when there is no underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, therapy is the most popular form of treatment to offer.
Additionally, therapy can help a person to understand their anxiety triggers. It can also help with making positive lifestyle changes and working through trauma. And as aforementioned, one of the most effective therapies for anxiety is called cognitive-behavioral therapy (in short CBT). It helps understand how a person’s thoughts affect their emotions or behavior.
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While replacing those reactions with positive or constructive alternatives. Then again, CBT can help with generalized anxiety and anxiety relating to a specific issue, such as work or an instance of trauma. Not to mention, medication can also help a person to manage chronic anxiety. A doctor may prescribe medications in form of various groups
Consider the following:
- antianxiety drugs called benzodiazepines, including Xanax and Valium
- antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, including Prozac
- sleeping medications, if anxiety interferes with sleep
Natural anxiety remedies can replace or complement traditional treatments. Untreated anxiety can get worse and cause more stress in a person’s life. However, anxiety is highly treatable with therapy, natural remedies, lifestyle changes, and medications.
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A person may need to try several combinations of therapies and remedies before finding one that works. A doctor can help a person determine which options are best.
Finally, if you have more additional contributions to this or our other blog topics, feel free to Contact Us and let us know. Or share your personal experiences, opinions, and thoughts about stress with us and other readers down below.
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Likewise, you can also click here to get more support and help on how to fight depression and anxiety from home by BetterHelp. Or even, help a friend to get advice while fighting chronic stress. And if you’re a big-hearted brother or sister to jmexclusives, please feel free to Donate in order to support our key mental health and rehabilitation programs.
According to mattressadvisor, most people with fibromyalgia struggle with sleep problems. Eventually, most of them have some difficulties falling asleep or just staying asleep. And even when they get enough sleep, they still wake up fatigued.
This chronic fatigue negatively impacts work, happiness, and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, this sleep deprivation can also exacerbate the chronic pain experienced by those with fibromyalgia or related conditions.
This intensified pain can in turn make sleep more challenging. And as such, this leaves fibromyalgia patients stuck in a difficult loop where their pain and insomnia continue to feed off of one another. Unfortunately, there is no cure for fibromyalgia.
But, there are some commendable strategies that you can consider. With some that can greatly improve symptoms as well as the overall quality of life. Overall, one of the most important things to tackle is Insomnia. With that in mind, you can read and learn more about Sleeping with Fibromyalgia: Tips and Tricks to Improve Sleep and Lessen Pain in detail. You are welcome!