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What Is Stress?

Stress is how your body responds to a change in emotions. During this time, the body experiences what is known as the “fight or flight” response. The heart beats faster, the adrenaline races through the body, breathing gets quicker, and blood is sent to the heart and muscles. Stress can cause a person to work harder or give a great performance, but it can also make one sick, depressed, or burned out.

What Causes Stress?

Many things cause stress. Some of more prominent ones are as follows:

* Promotions
* Death in the family
* Marriage
* Pregnancy
* Mortgage
* Divorce
* Separation
* Illness
* Business readjustment
* Change to a different line of work
* Setting too high of standards for oneself

What Can Stress Do To A Person?

Stress can lead to many things. It can cause depression and burnout. It also has short- and long-term consequences. Depression is caused when a person is extremely tired, doesn’t feel that he/she can accomplish a task that is given to him/her by the boss, or is bored with the job that he/she is doing. Burnout happens when a person only thinks negatively, does not know when to say "no," has no sense of purpose, or is a constant emotional leaning post for those around them.

Short-term stress can interfere with clear judgement, reduce enjoyment of work, and damage the positive frame of mind that you need. The symptoms are faster heart rate, rapid breathing, tense muscles, feelings of nausea, etc.

Long-term stress can cause depression, helplessness, hostility, becoming more lethargic, and or a drinking or smoking increase. The person can become fidgety or be in a constant bad mood, doesn’t care about personal appearance, or changes his/her work habits.

How Can I Manage Stress?

Stress can be handled in many ways. There are many stress management techniques to help the individual overcome this problem.

* Deep breathing: This can be done at any time. Remember as you breath in, your stomach expands. When exhaling, breathe out until your lungs feel "empty."
* Autogenics: Here you teach your body and mind to respond to your mental commands to relax efficiently.
* Self massage
* Deep breaths
* Laughing
* Going out with people with whom you can have fun
* Read a book
* Go to a movie
* Listen to music
* Take one thing at a time

Try not to become a superhero. If something is too much to handle, step away from it for awhile and re-evaluate what you will do next.