Are You Stressed?

By: Taylee Vieyra

What is stress?

Stress is a feeling that is created when we react to certain events. It's the body's way of preparing itself to deal with a tough situation. But, there are both good and bad types of stress, eustress and distress. Eustress is short term, and distress is long term. Stress activates our nervous system to release hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol, into our bloodstream. The hormones speed up our heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and our energy and sweat production. In addition, stress can cause many emotions. Everyone is different and responds to stress a different way. One extreme is some people might act out in anger, and may take it out on other people or things. Another extreme is some might internalize it and isolate themselves, which could result in them developing eating disorders or even substance abuse.

What can you do?

There are many ways that you can relieve stress. One way you can relieve stress is keeping healthy. Choose vitamin rich foods to keep your body and mind balanced. Another way, is to talk about it. It has been said that "a problem shared is a problem halved." Talking to someone can really help, because chances are, they've maybe experienced something similar and have advice to give or just a friendly ear. Lastly, another way to relieve stress is controlled breathing. Controlled breathing can promote feelings of calm, lower your blood pressure, and help you de-stress by balancing your nervous system. On the other hand, there are also ways that you shouldn't handle your stress. One example is overloading on caffeine. Caffeine can increase your feelings of anxiety and agitation and just make things worse. Another example is being so stressed and not managing your time that you lose your appetite, and don't eat enough. Lastly, another example of handling stress wrong is over eating. Eating sometimes makes people feel better, but maintaining a healthy diet is very important. If you're severely struggling with stress, you can talk to a teacher, parent, close friend, counselor, or therapist. You are not alone, and you can make it better.