STRESS and YOU

How do you handle STRESS??

What is stress and how can you get a handle on it?

Stress can be beneficial and it can harmful. Stress is beneficial by helping you develop the skills you need to cope and adapt to new and potentially threatening situations in your life; however, if you don't handle stress well it can cause negative consequences in your life and stress-related illnesses when your body is no longer able to keep up with the demands. Stress can have effects on cognitive function, can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension due to long-term exposure to catecholamines, and makes you more susceptible to infections.

Learning to manage and adapt to stress is the first step in getting a handle on it.


Some stress management techniques include:

  • Relaxation

  • Meditation

  • Guided Imagery

  • Biofeedback

  • Anticipatory Guidance

Some people deal with stress using defense mechanisms which are ways that we protect ourselves from things we do not want to think about or deal with. These could include: aggression, regression, repression, withdrawal, and fixation

Stressors

Your perception of a stressor determines

how much stress is caused

Physiologic

  • Pain
  • Excessive Noise
  • Starvation
  • Infection

Psychologic

  • Medical Diagnosis
  • Death of a loved one
  • Caring for a loved one
  • Relationship problems

Are you stressed??

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Poor judgment

  • Seeing only the negative

  • Anxious or racing thoughts

  • Constant worrying


Emotional Symptoms

  • Moodiness

  • Irritability or short temper

  • Agitation, inability to relax

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Sense of loneliness and isolation

  • Depression or general unhappiness


Physical Symptoms

  • Aches and pains

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Nausea, dizziness

  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Frequent colds


Behavioral Symptoms

  • Eating more or less

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Isolating yourself from others

  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax

  • Nervous habits (nail biting, pacing)

Prevention of Stress

Stress prevention comes in three levels.


Primary Prevention of stress is a proactive action taken that aims to prevent illness among individuals by reducing stress exposure


Secondary Prevention of stress aims to modify an individuals response to stressors


Tertiary Prevention of stress aim to minimize the effects of stress related problems once they have occurred.

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