StressWhat is Stress?

One of the leading authorities on stress, who has gained recognition from all over the world – Dr. Hans Selye, defined stress as a “state manifested by a specific syndrome which consists of all the non-specifically induced changes within a biological system.” Stress actually refers to a condition which does harm to the body or damages the cells in the body. The body has the ability to repair damaged cells but it needs the right amount of nutrition in order to do so. In fact, if the body could not keep up with the rate of destruction of the cells, the body will suffer from different diseases such as headache, heart disease, peptic ulcer, diabetes, asthma, dyspepsia, psoriasis and forms of sexual disorders.

There are different factors that could contribute to stress. Reactions of people to certain stressors are not at all the same. Some people would have a very negative or “stressful reaction” to one stressor, while others would not.

You may be surprised to find out that some of the most common stressors are those that you encounter everyday such as traffic jams, incessant ringing of the phone, apprehensions, doubts, routine job and many other similar instances.


What Causes Stress?

Causes of stress can be categorized into two namely, external and internal. The former would include x-rays, blinding lights, toxic substances, inadequate nutrition, drugs, bacteria, chemicals and many others. Internal causes have something to do with one’s emotions. Some of these are feelings of fear, jealousy and envy.


Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Stress

So how will you know that you are under stress? Here are some of the symptoms.

  • Dilated pupils
  • Tense muscles
  • Digestion slows down
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Heart starts beating faster
  • Breathing becomes faster
  • Adrenaline hormone is released
  • Glucose is released from the liver
  • Grumbling
  • Poor sleep
  • Longer  working hours with lesser results
  • Bad temper
  • Conflict with children and spouse at home
  • Minor sickness
  • Feeling frustrated.
  • Prolonged absences due to milk sickness
  • Taking in alcohol more frequently

If stressors are not remedied, stress could lead to the following:

  • Allergies
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Digestive disorders
  • Palpitations
  • Backache
  • Bowel and skin disorders
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Vision problems


Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Stress

Treating stress is actually a matter of changing one’s lifestyle. The following are the best ways to deal with stress.

Helpful Lifestyle Changes

  • Make sure to exercise regularly. Exercise gives the body good mental relaxation. It is also a means of recreation that could relieve one from stress. And, it keeps the mind and the body fit. Walking is one of the best and safest forms of exercises. 45 minutes of brisk walking everyday could greatly help the body.
  • Rest must be given importance. Do not try to overwork yourself. Indulge in recreational activities.
  • Taking a holiday break could be beneficial for the body.
  • Avoid alcohol. This leads to the depletion of Vitamin B from the body.
  • Minimise cigarettes. If you could abstain from them completely, it would be better.

Diet for Stress

  • Eat more nuts, seeds and grains, along with vegetables and fruits.
  • Milk, along with honey and vegetable oils could benefit the body too.
  • Yoghurt is a rich source of Vitamin A, D and B complex. This helps in relieving migraine, insomnia, and cramps that are often linked to menstruation.
  • Blackstrap molasses, which is a by-product of sugar, is rich in B vitamins and iron. This is good for heart disease and could prevent the onset of anaemia.
  • Alfalfa, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are rich sources of calcium. They could deter anxiety and listlessness.
  • Steamed vegetables are better than boiled ones. The latter process causes the nutrients in the vegetables to end up in the water.
  • Eat yellow and green veggies as they are rich in Vitamin A.
  • Eat cashews, bananas and yeast. These foods are good Vitamin B sources.
  • Unrefined grains and nuts are good potassium sources. When one is deficient from potassium, one is likely to suffer from insomnia, fatigue, breathlessness and low blood sugar. Another advantage of taking in potassium rich foods is that it helps in making the heart muscles healthy.
  • Eat almonds, eggs, soya beans and other dairy products as they rich in calcium, which is considered as a natural sedative. Deficiency in calcium could lead to nervousness and fatigue.
  • Dates and prunes are rich sources of magnesium, which is also known to fight stress.
  • Avoid caffeine found in tea, coffee and soft drinks. Caffeine has been known to cause irritability, palpitation and nervousness.
  • Salt should be avoided since this increases the risk for a heart disease.
  • Cigarettes must be avoided too, since this could lead to sleeplessness and tension. These have also been associated with cancer.

Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs for Stress

  • Holy basil leaves are good in treating stress. They are even considered as anti-stress agents. Studies have shown that even healthy people must chew 12 basil leaves twice a day, since this is a very effective way to prevent stress.
  • Vitamin A and B should be taken daily to support the body against stress.
  • Magnesium. Make sure that you take in adequate amounts of magnesium since this helps in preventing a heart attack. Being deficient in magnesium could lead to apprehension, irritability, apprehension and other emotional disorders. This is also a vital element that aids the body in absorbing potassium and calcium.


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