Stress is a normal physiological response to ‘dangerous’ situations and therefore often beneficial. In fact, most people need a little bit of stress to keep their lives interesting! But stress becomes unhealthy when it is excessive, chronic and managed poorly.
Stress is not only caused by negative situations or experiences, but by happy occasions too. As we experience the ups and downs of everyday life or whenever there is a major change in our lives, stress occurs. The key lies in cultivating a positive attitude towards stress and finding ways to recognise and manage it effectively.
Everyone may experience stress differently, from physical symptoms such as a headache, clenched jaw, tight muscles to feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, irritability and impatience. Having trouble sleeping or lower energy levels is also a common sign of stress. It’s important to recognise how you respond to stress as this affects your health. Do you:
Stress alone seldom causes heart disease, but it is a well-known risk factor that contributes the development of heart disease. It is considered a risk factor as much as cigarette smoking, diabetes, and hypertension for CVD onset, due to underlying biological and neurochemical mechanisms. Being stressed often leads to other unhealthy behaviours which are often major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as
It is important to point out that not everybody has a negative reaction to stress. In fact, most people need a little bit of stress to keep their lives interesting! But stress becomes unhealthy when there is too much for too long.
While we cannot always escape stress, managing stress effectively is important for a healthy lifestyle so here are some tips to manage stress and keep your health in check: