Do you know what stress is? It is a feeling that appears when we react to certain types of circumstances. It is the way our body reacts to a challenge or to be alert to a complicated situation.
There are many situations that can cause us stress: feeling in danger, a business meeting, a presentation at school, travelling by plane… Different situations can cause emotional stress to each person.
When we find ourselves in a stressful situation, our nervous system and some hormones are activated. We start producing more adrenaline and cortisol because the hypothalamus sends signals to the adrenal glands. These hormones are sent to the bloodstream. What they do next is increase the heart rate, breathing rate, artery pressure and speed up the metabolism.
As a result, the blood vessels dilate so that more blood can circulate to the muscles, so that they become alert. Pupils are also dilated to improve our vision. In addition, the liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the energy available to the body. In addition, we produce sweat to be able to regulate the temperature, to be fresher.
The purpose of these changes in our body is to prepare us to be able to react quickly and effectively. It is the answer to stressful situations. If this whole mechanism works properly, it is the best way we have to function properly under pressure situations. However, when this response is extreme, it can cause us problems.
How many types of emotional stress are there?
As we have said before, the response to this pressure is basic to be able to react correctly before certain dangerous situations. It can also be activated to a lesser extent when we are tense but not in danger. For example, when we take an important exam. A low level of stress will help us to be alert and prepared for any occasion. After such situations, our body returns to normal. This kind of stress is good.
You must keep in mind that emotional stress can not only appear in imminent danger situations. It can also appear in medium or long term situations. If it is long term, it can be a low intensity stress but in a protracted manner. What causes us difficulties is known as bad stress.
Our nervous system feels tension continuously and remains active to continue releasing extra hormones during this prolonged period. This can be counterproductive because it can deplete the body’s reserves. As a result, we will feel exhausted, the immune system will weaken and other health problems may arise.
Why do stress overloads appear?
It is important to have the right stress levels for the situation we are living in. Getting overly nervous about a small problem can be harmful. Making us lose concentration, blocking us…
If we live stressful situations in a very prolonged way it can end up causing us an overload of nervousness. Some of the situations that can cause this overload are:
- Being a victim of any kind of violence or intimidation.
- Having strained relationships, family problems, breakups, or the loss of a loved one.
- Problems at school due to learning difficulties, inattention, hyperactivity, etc.
- Living in a hurry without having time to relax or disconnect.
Some of these situations of emotional stress need to be treated in a special way. Having anxiety problems can also make the situation worse. Sometimes it is necessary to go to a professional to help us solve it.
How to detect nervous situations?
Some of the symptoms of emotional stress overload are
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Feeling constant pressure or confusion.
- Appearance of eczema or asthma.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Eating and drinking in excess, smoking or using other drugs.
- Having depression or feeling sad.
Each person reacts to emotional stress in a different way. Some squeal, some cry, some turn away from others to be alone… It’s important to learn how to handle these situations. It is also important to put into practice techniques that help us. In time we will master them better. This will help us to prevent or reduce emotional stress.
To help you when this happens, we recommend that you put these techniques into practice:
Don’t want to do too many things at once: sometimes we want to do too many activities at once, but we can’t always manage them properly and we end up stressed out. One solution is to stop doing a couple of them or delegate the ones we can.
You must be realistic: assume that nobody is perfect, therefore, do not torture yourself trying to be perfect, because the pressure you put on yourself to be perfect, causes tension.
Try to sleep properly: sleeping the hours we need is essential to maintain a good state of health and helping us manage nervousness.
Relax: it is the best antidote for these situations. A good way to relax is to do breathing exercises. You can also do activities that relax you and help you to calm down. Like taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music… I’m sure you can find a hobby that will help you relax.
Make time for your body: exercising is a great way to eliminate emotional stress. Eat properly to keep your body healthy. Avoid unhealthy food, alcohol and drugs in stressful times.
Control your thoughts – Your thoughts and your attitude to each situation are very important in controlling them. It is better to be positive and have optimistic thoughts to overcome difficulties.
Try to solve small problems: avoiding facing our daily problems can make us feel like we are losing control. To feel in control again, try to solve them, little by little and without getting overwhelmed. When you start to overcome these small problems, you will feel stronger to face the bigger ones. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel it is necessary.