Health & Wellbeing

Dec 11, 2023 14 min read

Miracle of Stress

Author is currently working as senior production engineer in IOCL Gujarat Refinery and has a work experience of over twenty years at Panipat Refinery IOCL. Author is also a trained counselor

Abstract
In modern rushed life, everyone is saying they are stressed. But they should be aware of the beautiful reality behind the stress and how stress has an important role to play for ups-and-downs and growth in our life. This article is going to explain the basics of stress, type of stress i.e., Eustress, and Distress. Where and how it initiates and grows, for instance, benefits of eustress, bad effect of distress, physical health issues due to the distress, and management of distress.

Stress
To do any activity, human beings need to strain to some extent physically and mentally. That time the body becomes alert and triggers the stress chemical to prepare the body to do action through increased blood circulation which in-turn makes the muscles get ready to do so. However it has a threshold limit, if the strain is within the limit, there is no issue. But beyond that limit, depending on intensity of the stress, like on how much time the body is in the same condition and how much time it takes to revert back to normal condition may impact on mental and physical health.

Everyone from childhood to old age is making some efforts to manage the situation and to move forward in life. It certainly brings some changes to mental and physical health. If every time we are doing the same activity or slowly increase the intensity with time within the limit or activity with proper rehearsal, then there is no issue. But putting efforts out of the threshold limit without practice may create problems not only physically, but mentally also. As mentioned above, every effort needs the strain or stress, however based on the cause and effect, becomes eustress or distress. In simple terms, eustress (good stress) is the stress which is developed by the effort to meet our fulfillment of high-level satisfaction and growth. In eustress, the chemical is properly used and is completely diluted. Distress (bad stress) is the stress which is developed by the effort that does not give the satisfaction, success, or favorable changes in life. In both of the above mentioned stresses, the stress chemical is same. The body's stress response system is usually self-regulated. The stressful situation gets normal when a perceived threat has passed and in-turn hormones (stress chemical adrenaline and cortisol) return to their respective typical levels. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal levels. Other systems go back to their regular activities as well.

When stressors (factors of stress) are being continuous, then we always feel the pressure. The stress response fight-or-flight reaction stays turned-on continuously. The long-term activation of the stress response system and too much exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disturb all the body's processes. This puts you at higher risk of many health problems, including psychological, psychosomatic disorders. Scientists are not sure about the causes of psychosomatic symptoms. Some believe that stress releases hormones and chemicals in the body that cause damage or dysfunction. There are many different types of stressors that can lead to stress. These include unexpected changes such as loss in health, relationships, work, family, friendships, lifestyle, and financial resources which are often involved in these changes. High levels of stress or chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression. Ongoing anxiety and depression are huge stressors.

Benefits of eustress

Eustress supports (pushes) us to do a new activity, hobby, learn new skills, and even step-up outside our comfort zone. It makes us feel good when we work toward our goals, go through positive (notable) life changes, and helps us to kick-start a new chapter in our lives. Proactiveness, productivity, creativity, adventures, control, motivation, resilience, coping with stressful situations, good focus, and concentration are some of the profound benefits of eustress.

Bad effects of distress
Studies have found many health problems are related to distress. Distress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma. “Stress causes higher levels of the hormone cortisol," says Winner, "and that seems to increase the amount of fat that's deposited in the abdomen."
Stress isn't only a feeling. "Stress isn't just in your head," Winner says. It's a built-in physiologic response to a threat. When you're stressed, your body responds and your blood vessels constrict, your blood pressure, your pulse rise. Also you tend to breathe faster and your bloodstream is flooded with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. "When you're chronically stressed, those physiologic changes, over time, can lead to health problems," Winner tells Web MD.

Management
The following stress management technique is very helpful in a distress condition

Breathe deeply
Just a few minutes of deep breathing can calm you and bring down to control the physiologic stress response, Winner says. While building in a specific time to relax each day is a good idea, one advantage to deep breathing for stress relief is that you can do it anywhere -- at your desk or in your (parked) car, for instance. Winner recommends that as you breathe out, you relax a specific muscle group. Start with the muscles in your jaw. On the next breath out, relax your shoulders. Move through the different areas of your body until you're feeling calm.

Focus on the moment
When you're stressed, you're probably living in the future or the past. You're worried about what to do next or are in regret about something you've already done. To get some stress relief, instead try focusing on what you're doing right now. "You can calm yourself by bringing yourself back to the present moment," says Winner. "If you're walking, feel the sensation of your legs moving. If you're eating, focus on the taste and the sensation of the food."

Reframe the situation.
So you're already running late and then find yourself stuck in terrible traffic. Getting worked up is a natural reaction, but it won't help you at all. Rather than swearing and pounding the steering wheel, get a different perspective. Look at that time as an opportunity -- a few minutes to yourself where you don't have any other obligations. Keep your problems in perspective. It might seem Pollyannaish (optimistic), but the next time you're feeling stressed out, think about the things for which you're grateful. "We get stressed when we focus so much on a specific problem that we lose perspective," says Winner. "You need to remind yourself of the basic ways in which you're lucky -- that you have family and friends that you can see, that you can walk." It can be a surprisingly effective method for stress
While these stress management techniques can help in the moment, you can also make a few larger changes to your way of life. Regular exercise is key to long-term stress management, says Winner. People who exercise tend to have better moods and more energy than people who don't. What's more, regular exercise will independently lower your risks for many health problems.

Relaxation techniques

Learning some relaxation techniques, like JPMR (Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation technique) meditation, or yoga will help with stress management too. Getting good at any of these approaches will take a little time and practice, but the payoff -- for your short-term mood and long-term health -- could be substantial.
Be realistic about what you can and can’t control. Exercising regularly, listening to music is helpful to cope up with stress.
In a 2013 study, participants took part in one of three conditions before being exposed to a stressor and then taking a psychosocial stress test. Some participants listened to relaxing music, others listened to the sound of rippling water, and the rest received no auditory stimulation. The results suggested that listening to music had an impact on the human stress response, particularly the autonomic nervous system. Those who had listened to music tended to recover more quickly following a stressor.

Treatment
Sometimes psychological stresses adversely affect physiological (somatic) functioning to the point of distress. It is a condition of dysfunction or structural damage in bodily organs through inappropriate activation of the involuntary nervous system and the glands of internal secretion. This is called Psychophysiological also called as psychosomatic disorder.
Several treatments can help to the people with somatic pain symptoms, including:
Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Mindfulness-based therapy.
Medications, such as antidepressants.
Referral to a specialist in mental health (for example, a psychiatrist or psychologist).
Regular contact with your primary care provider.GP

Conclusion
Overall summary of this article is stress created beyond the limit becomes distress that may lead to psychological and psychosomatic disorder. The threshold limit in stress depends on the individuals’ stamina in physical and mental conditions and how the person (the person should) practice (rehearsed) by oneself to face the critical situation, how (learn) to change the distress to eustress by positive thinking, how (learn) to manage the issue. By practicing to be calm, developing good listening skills, systematic planning, and mindfulness-based activities are the best methods to avoid distress.

Reference:

  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Medically Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on April 01, 2014, Written by R. Morgan Griffin in WebMD
  • Psychosomatic disorder from Cleveland Clinic
  • Chronic stress puts your health at risk by healthy lifestyle by mayo clinic
  • How Listening to Music Can Have Psychological Benefits in verywell mind by Kendra Cherry, MSEd
  • Take the Stress out of Your Life - Jay Winner in mind tools. https://www.mindtools.com/avprqp7/take-the-stress-out-of-your-life
  • Memorialcare.org, https://www.memorialcare.org/blog/winning-over-stress Good mental health supports physical health and wealth.
     

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Comments (26)

Mahander Singh Parihar

Article is enriched in authors Experiences and Knowledge. Language is very well used to tell facts about stress in a very interesting way.

  • 29 Dec 2023

Vivekanandan C N

Excellent explanation towards Stress. Good to know about the types of Stress and their adverse effects while crossing the threshold limits. Practicing the above mentioned solutions can really be a game changer. Surely the Stress Management techniques will be in my upcoming New Year Resolution list.

  • 30 Dec 2023

Murugan K

Well compiled and good to hear about stress and how to release mentally or physically.

  • 31 Dec 2023

Hukam Singh IOCL PANIPAT

This article is very knowledgeable or helpful for every person Thanks a lot for this article

  • 31 Dec 2023

Kannan

Really nice and useful author has used simple language to express his thoughts. I wish him all success.

  • 31 Dec 2023

Athithyan

Hello Sir, The Articles is great Eye opener for me. I will definity follow the management techniques which you have mentions in the Acritical And thank you for sharing us the useful knowledge

  • 31 Dec 2023

Asokan Ramamurthy

Excellent article in simple terms

  • 31 Dec 2023

Senthil

Very good article about stress management

  • 31 Dec 2023

Sathishkumar

Good article.we have enriched in the article to aware of stress and overcome. Would be glad if it's advised on age wise stress as kids stress is different to business mans and makes addict to some habits and want advise on how to overcome and have need some advise on some routine or exercise to overcome.

  • 31 Dec 2023

Jothi Kumar P

Very clear way and simple method of understanding the stress. Also the ways to avoid stress mentioned is practical and can be easily practised. The article shows the maturity level of handling stress in simpler way . Keep doing the good work … best wishes

  • 31 Dec 2023

Muthu Kumar

Very nice!

  • 31 Dec 2023

SUBHASH YADAV

This article is very much interesting . I aware the benefits & management of the stress in the simple manner

  • 31 Dec 2023

Manish Mishra

Very nice , informative and use full .

  • 01 Jan 2024

Pawanpreet Singh Tipsy

Through the article author has explained benefits and management of the stress very precisely

  • 01 Jan 2024

Abhimanyu

It is a very informative and helpful article.

  • 01 Jan 2024

N SRINIVASAN

Very good article about stress..Well explained difference between good stress and bad stress.. If someone is a working professional then he should read this.. It is written in a Simple language one can easily understand.. Very interesting.. Keep it up sir.. All the best

  • 01 Jan 2024

Mahendra Singh

A very relaxing read. Inspiring and helpful indeed...!

  • 02 Jan 2024

Swastik Basu

Good compilation of enlightening facts.

  • 02 Jan 2024

Anil

Very informatic and knowledgeable article help me for implementing in daily life for reduce stress.

  • 02 Jan 2024

Sudip Bera

A very informative time demanding article beneficial esspecially for corporate employees and students. Waiting for more such articles from you.

  • 02 Jan 2024

N SRINIVASAN

Very good article.. Detaily explained in such a simple way.. Now I come to know what are good and bad stress.. Every working person should go through it.. Keep going.. All the best sir

  • 02 Jan 2024

K T Karthigan

Very useful article. Well done sir.

  • 02 Jan 2024

Steffi

Article is simple and easy to understand. Stress relieving techniques will definitely help to work with our daily life situations.

  • 02 Jan 2024

Mohandass Deepavaliraja

The article is very interesting and useful, thanks for sharing and I am expecting more from you in your next article. Best wishes.

  • 02 Jan 2024

SANDIPAN SEN

A very well-researched and informative article. Learned something new. Must read for all.

  • 03 Jan 2024

Akshay Valand

Very nice and interesting article.

  • 06 Jan 2024

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