Symptoms

Stress – causes, treatment

Stress

Stress is a tension in the body and mind (psyche) caused by external and internal pressure. The external and internal factors therefore include specific stimuli, the so-called stressors, which can subsequently cause physical and psychological reactions in people. Momentary stress is harmless and was once used to activate the body and mind in the face of danger and survival in the wilderness. Today, however, prolonged stress can lead to many illnesses and ailments, so a stress-free life is preferable.

What is stress?

On the one hand, stress is a reaction to certain external factors. On the other hand, stress is also used to describe the physical and mental strain that results from these external factors. Factors that trigger stress can be extremely different in people. Probably the most common cause that results in stress is the everyday hustle and bustle and inner restlessness that one is constantly confronted with.

In addition, there is an ever-increasing pressure to perform in today’s society, which only a few see themselves up to. If this is the case, the first symptoms appear. Here, too, there are large differences between those affected. Some become particularly nervous, but some also become faint and shut themselves up, avoiding any contact with the outside world. Others even experience health problems such as tachycardia and even burnout .

causes

The most common causes of stress are work and interpersonal relationships. In today’s society, there is constant pressure to always be the best, to have the perfect partnership, to have as many friends as possible. For these reasons, more and more people put themselves under too much pressure and thus burden themselves with stress.

But external stimuli such as noise , a harmful posture, and sensory overload can also be stress factors. In addition to the external factors, there are emotional fluctuations. Insecure people are often afraid of being rejected by others. You are always looking for approval and want to be liked by everyone, to please everyone. This is exactly what triggers long-term stress for many people.

diseases with this symptom

complications

Chronic, long-lasting stress is classified as a modern civilization disease that can result in a wide variety of complications. During physical stress reactions, more energy is provided and sugar and fatty acids are released into the blood. This leads to increased blood sugar levels and, under certain circumstances, to obesity and diabetes.

If there is a lack of physical exercise , the vessels can constrict over time and diseases such as arteriosclerosis , heart attacks , pulmonary embolism or strokes can result. With permanent stress in the private or professional environment, exhaustion, tiredness and symptoms such as restlessness or irritable bowel syndrome set in. In addition, more hormones such as adrenaline are released, which, among other things , inhibits the activity of the digestive organs .

The immune system suffers from constant stress and makes people susceptible to infectious diseases such as colds and chronic diseases. The hormone cortisol is increasingly released and weakens the immune system. People with a lot of stress tend to have unfavorable behaviors such as poor sleep, irregular and unhealthy diet, increased alcohol consumption or smoking.

This in turn can result in complications such as high blood pressure, impotence, stomach ulcers , heart disease, headaches , sudden hearing loss , menstrual problems, back pain or tinnitus. Psychological consequences such as dejection, difficulty concentrating , irritability , states of anxiety, depression and burnout syndrome should not be underestimated.

When should you go to the doctor?

In most cases, stress does not require medical treatment and occurs several times a day for most people. However, over time, stress can be harmful to the body and lead to both mental and physical symptoms and ailments. In general, a stress visit to the doctor is necessary when the patient feels unwell and has symptoms. In any case, a doctor should be consulted if a burn-out develops as a result of the stress. In some cases, this can be life-threatening and should always be treated.

It is also necessary to consult a doctor if physical problems arise due to stress. These include severe and permanent headaches, dizziness or insomnia. An examination should also be carried out if the quality of life is generally reduced. First and foremost, it is advisable to consult a general practitioner. If necessary, the person concerned can be referred to a psychologist . Psychological changes or depression usually require treatment by a specialist.

Treatment & Therapy

Stress can only be treated by reducing it and, as far as possible, avoiding it. You should also identify the causes that led to the stress in order to fight this evil at the root. The best thing to do is take a break from everything that gets over your head, go somewhere where you can switch off and just focus on yourself.

Back from vacation, oases of calm should also be built into everyday life in order to avoid stress as much as possible. Even the simplest methods can help, such as conscious relaxation and breathing exercises ( autogenic training  can also help) or regular physical activity. It depends on what kind of person you are and how you can best switch off to clear your head of any stress.

Outlook & Forecast

Stress does not necessarily have to be treated medically. This symptom is not always a negative condition, as low levels of stress keep the body fit and healthy. However, if the stress is high, it can lead to physical and psychological problems. You can reduce stress yourself or you can get support from a psychologist . The person concerned must also take care of minimizing stress himself. This often includes taking up sporting activities or changing your diet .

Treatment usually leads to success and relieves the patient of stress. If the stress is not treated, it often leads to severe psychological and physical problems. The person affected often feels weak, complains of headaches, constant tiredness and general malaise. Social contacts can also suffer from stress, which can lead to social exclusion. Stress also has a negative effect on everyday work and can also cause problems there. It is not uncommon for the treatment to be supported with medication. In the worst case, too much stress without treatment can lead to burnout or suicidal thoughts.

prevention

The best way to prevent stress is with an anti-stress program. This is done in a total of four steps. First of all, you have to analyze the personal stress factors, i.e. the causes. Once these have been found, they should be reduced to the minimum possible in order to avoid the stress.

The next step is to reduce the stress that has already built up. Finally, the last step is to prevent stress in the long term. Implementing the whole thing in everyday life is often not easy and often you have to outwit yourself in order not to fall into a stress trap again. The basic principle for avoiding stress in the long term is to take time for yourself.

In addition, a few daily habits should be changed. It is important to set priorities. What is important and what isn’t – you should be clear about that. The best way to simplify your life is to live according to the motto: Less is more. This includes saying “no” from time to time, not always wanting to please everyone. This is where stress management comes in handy. It helps you to recognize the really important things in life and also to pursue them.

Preventive relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or yoga can also have a preventive effect. Jogging and swimming also help to relieve tension and clear your head.

Home remedies & herbs

  • Baths and teas made from hops and lemon balm calm your nerves and lift your spirits. They are also excellent for insomnia .
  • 10 drops of valerian tincture to fall asleep dissolved in a glass of water calms soul, body and spirit in the long term. However, the calming effects can also last up to two weeks. But it also lasts longer.

You can do that yourself

Stress can be positive but also negative. If the latter is the case, it restricts everyday life. However, there are ways to deal with stress better. In order to be able to fight against stress, it is important that the body is fit and efficient. The ability to perform depends, among other things, on lifestyle factors such as diet , health, exercise and consumption of neurotoxins. The latter should be avoided if possible.

It is important to eat a balanced and healthy diet and to drink enough . Regular exercise helps you feel more comfortable and better able to deal with stress. Fresh air can also work wonders. A short walk in the countryside is often enough to reduce your own stress level. Stress also occurs when you don’t take enough breaks. In the performance-oriented society, it is important to take short breaks and not to drown yourself in work. Fitness exercises at work, power naps or massages can be helpful.

Relaxation is particularly effective against stress . But it is often difficult to switch off in everyday work. Thoughts are circling and the stress level increases. Autogenic training has proven particularly effective in this regard . Meditation and sports like Pilates and yoga can help you come to terms with yourself.

Certain character traits can promote stress. Very perfectionistic people are particularly vulnerable to stress. It’s good to aim high. However, if these goals are too high, this inevitably leads to negative feelings such as overload rather than positive ones.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.