Stress has been and still is a part of our lives. Its main purpose is well meant – to protect us. But what if it becomes ubiquitous and harms our health more than it benefits it? It’s not a good idea to ignore it. Fighting it only brings short-term gains, it is more wise to listen to it. Understanding its causes helps us not only mitigate its effects on our health, but often change our relationship with ourselves.
Stress is a natural reaction of a person in a situation of danger. It takes place on a mental (a person experiences feelings of excitement that lead to higher performance, then exhaustion and anxiety) and physical (thanks to hormones, respiratory and heart rate increase, blood pressure and blood flow to the muscles) level. The problem is that if a stressful situation lasts too long, then the body is depleted. In connection with this, we are talking about long-term or chronic stress.
Everyone encounters stress, but experiences and reacts to it in different ways. There are also individual traces that it leaves on our health if its effect lasts too long or is too intense.
The most common complications include cardiovascular and digestive problems, which a person may subjectively feel such as palpitations, chest pain, abdominal pain or diarrhea. Psychosomatic manifestations of stress in various forms are also common, from skin rashes to sexual and reproductive problems to insomnia or hair loss.
If you already suffer from stress (stress from school, from work) and are looking for ways to get rid of it, we recommend involving both your body and mind into the game. If you want to be really consistent, then the optimal solution is to contact an expert, psychotherapist or coach.
Body-oriented techniques include working with the breath – many people find that they breathe too superficially or do not use the entire chest and abdomen. You can try some form of relaxation or focus on movement. Working with the mind is often a complex matter, but it can be started, for example, by dedicating an hour a day to yourself.
Research and clinical practice do confirm this connection. Unlike short-term stress, which tends to protect the pancreas from inflammation, long-term stress is a risk. The pancreas is permeated by a dense network of nerves that are sensitive to hormones that the body produces as a result of stress. Ultimately, the risk of inflammation increases.
Psychotherapy allows you to slow down and focus your attention on the real causes of stress, which are often hidden in the flow of daily responsibilities. It will help you name them and equip you with skills that will prove to be a good help whenever you need them. The advantage of online therapy is its quick availability in demanding situations in which the therapist can be a very welcomed and much needed guide.
In the case of stress prevention, all known clichés apply – adequate exercise, enough sleep and a balanced diet. But if you want to do something more for yourself, slow down and really notice everything you do, think and experience. Stress always catches up with you when you are too far away from yourself.
“I gave my maximum into my work and I used to put huge demands on myself. This led to chaos in my daily schedule and a great stress. In therapy we worked to find out why I have such a need to be efficient. And why I can’t rest. The therapist also helped me set a daily schedule for activities and find time slots to relax. Surprisingly, we are now even more productive than when I was under pressure and I have more time to rest.”