Modern lives are chock-full of demanding situations and weighty obligations, and the pressures generated by these circumstances will quickly add up and lead to a systemic state of oppression and stress. Do you feel emotionally drained? Do you feel that too much is asked of you? Are you having trouble sleeping at night? Are you in a constant state of unease? If so, you are one among millions of individuals, of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, who are under chronic stress.
Much has been said about the physiological effects of stress on the body; yet surprisingly, the psychological effects are often assigned less medical importance. The psychological effects of stress are highly variable due to the individual circumstances of a patient’s life. A person’s subjective assessment of his or her present situation will determine the amount of psychological damage that will be done. However, there are ways to effectively reduce and efficiently treat stress and all of its consequences on your own or with the help of trusted others.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress can be defined as a set of emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioral reactions to certain adverse or harmful aspects of the environment. Stress as a psychological state is characterized by high levels of excitement and anguish, with the persistent feeling of not being able to cope with a situation. When a state of stress is experienced over prolonged periods of time a cognitive dysfunction will develop. Chronically stressed individuals are likely to experience confusion, difficulty concentrating, and a decreased ability to make important decisions.
An individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns will become altered over time; in fact, his or her entire personality might become warped. Stressed individuals are more likely to be irritable, hostile, frustrated, and aggressive. Other signs and symptoms of psychological stress are a decreased concern with appearance and responsibility, as well as issues of trust and communication. In extreme cases, individuals will withdraw from those around them and proceed to seek isolation.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE STRESS?
Thankfully there are various ways to reduce stress and diminish the damage it can wreak on our psyches; This is in part due to the fact that stress as a psychological force and its related effects have been under study and close scrutiny for decades. Knowing how to eliminate stress successfully will help you achieve a state of calm during urgent situations and will most definitely help you through difficult moments that may develop in your life. What can an individual do to manage stress better and perhaps even eliminate any side effects?
The very first thing you must do in order to better cope with stress is to properly identify the stress factors that are applying psychological pressure. Establishing a clear connection between any physical and emotional signs of your body’s stress response will go a long way in helping identify the situations that are causing stress.
Once you have identified the problem areas, you can begin to attack the root cause of your stress. This is the phase where you review your life and assess whether your burdens are justified. Is there room in your life for leisure? If you find there isn’t, then making room should become a priority. This is a time for restructuring and surrounding yourself with supportive individuals. Close friends and family can significantly impact your ability to successfully deal with stress by providing honest advice and healthy distractions.
THE SURPRISING ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN STRESS MANAGEMENT
Technology habitually makes life easier and less painful; this is a fact we have grown accustomed to in the last few decades. However, the role of technology as a tool for the furthering of psychological health is something that only recently has begun to get traction. We are driven towards technology like moths to a flame, and if technology can improve our practical lives, why not allow it to help with our internal struggles as well?
Scientifically researched solutions to our stress-related psychological disorders are now within reach and offer effective and inexpensive alternatives. From brainwave sensing devices that provide real-time feedback to develop therapeutic approaches to virtual reality software offering effective and safe treatment of phobias; the emerging technologies of today are helping millions of people cope and manage stress more effectively.
The smart wearable, in particular, is a type of device that is generating waves because of its effectiveness and low cost of entry. Wearable devices allow you to take control of your health into your own hands. Smart wearable devices can help you sync up your body with your mind and allow for an unprecedented degree of self-awareness. You can closely follow your breathing patterns and analyze your brain-waves in real time with apps that are compatible with all major mobile operating systems.
Humanity was able to tame the world in part thanks to its ability to create tools that allowed it to do things it couldn’t do on its own. Many people will argue that technology is actually one of the biggest stressors of today’s way of life, but as with most tools created by man, the negative repercussions are not inherent to the tool itself, but rather to the use man gives them. Stress is no more a direct consequence of technology than it is a consequence of breathing. In the same manner that technology regularly amplifies the frenetic nature of modern life, it can amplify a beneficial therapeutic approach to health.
Learning to cope with stress effectively is a matter of practice and repetition. Stress management techniques are simple but can be challenging if attempted without guidance or outside help. Stress is one of the principal causes of various physiological diseases and psychological disorders. Once stress beings to take root as a negative force in an individual’s life, it can quickly spiral out of control and wreak havoc on his or her life. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we quickly and efficiently arrest its advancement and thus prevent harm.
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- Definition of Stress MedicineNet