At times we feel that we have too much to handle and this affects one’s mind and the body hence become stressed. The body responds in a lot of ways, which are accompanied by several mental and emotional reactions which lead to health problems. You need to identify ways that will help you to deal with stress before it leads to a heightened sense of dysfunction such as depression or mental disorder which in turn has an impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
Warning: Geeky doctor talk coming (hang in there for a bit)……Cortisol is a hormone in the body that helps restore the body to its normal state after a stressful event and also helps regulate the blood sugar levels in the cells, and it is useful in the hippocampus (and area deep in the brain) for storing and processing memories. When one is stressed, there is a release of more cortisol hormone which impairs the prefrontal cortex function (the front part of the brain), the home of higher level thinking.
When experiencing acute stress, our stress hormones increase our reactive tendencies by decreasing our normal reactions and that wears down the brain from proper function. This, in turn, disrupts brain communication, can kill the brain function or even reduce logical reactions while increasing the “reactive brain” size which makes the brain more receptive to stress. With time, this leads to anxiety, depression, fear, frustration, anger or aggression and these feelings are capable of feeding on each other, and the result is mental and emotional effects on the body. Ok, geeky doctor talk is over…..
Mentally, stress affects the way one thinks, reacts, reasons, and responds to situations and one will constantly be thinking about the problems, and this leads to difficulty in concentrating, ordering, remembering an processing their thoughts. With such thoughts going through one’s mind, it also results in sleeping problems. Continuous stress makes it difficult to reason or have reasonable, logical thoughts, hence leading to a loss of perspective to everyday problems resulting to worrying more. This, in turn, affects your work performance, makes it difficult for you to focus on one task, failure in making correct decisions and loss of self-confidence.
When stress affects the emotional side, your moods are affected, making you feel moody and irritable, feel overwhelmed by work or even other small problems is why stress makes it difficult to relax. Some may choose to isolate themselves, which leads to depression or loneliness.
Other effects of stress are overeating or under eating, drug or alcohol abuse, angry outbursts, tobacco use, exercising less often, increased forgetfulness, loss of sense of humor and negative thinking. When stress is bottled up, you eventually expresses yourself through anger outbursts, frustrations or yells at others for no reason.
Being able to recognize that you are stressed by knowing the symptoms will help you manage it appropriately and fast before they become severe. First, acknowledge your emotions and understand why you have them, then sort them out so that you can be able to manage your mental and emotional health. You may talk to someone you trust, or a therapist who will help you before your physical health is affected.