Due to the increasing competition in every field, the percentage of people suffering from depressive disorders or chronic stress has increased dramatically over the past few years. Irrespective of the reason, a long-term bout of stress can impact the physical and mental health of a person. There is no denying the fact that it is not possible to completely avoid stress, but there are a number of ways through which the impact of stress can be reduced. By re-evaluating the ways of chaos management, people can avoid stressful situations or learn to handle such situations strategically (Amstadter at al., 2009).1
In this article, readers will be informed about symptoms of stress, common stressors and the ways through which people can manage stress:
How to Diagnose Stress?
Misdiagnosis and wrong treatment are two of the biggest factors responsible for the worsening condition of stress. This is the reason that a number of researches have highlighted common symptoms of stress, to help people get the right treatment before the disease becomes chronic.
In an article published by the Texas University (2014), 2 the following symptoms of stress are mentioned:
- Reduced anxiety and frustration threshold
- Frequent mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Fatigue, headache
The article also highlighted that chronic stress not only impacts the mental and physical health of a person, but also has adverse effects on the learning, thinking and communication skills of a person. Often, people suffering from stress end up as drug or alcohol addicts. If not treated properly, a person suffering from chronic stress can even attempt suicide. This is the reason that this article emphasizes early diagnosis and proper treatment for chronic stress and depressive disorders.
According to a research study presented by the World Heath Organizations in 20133 about chronic stress, the following are some of the most common reasons for stress related conditions:
· Financial Issues- The dangling world economy and increasing rate of unemployment have considerably increased the number of people suffering from stress during the past few years.
· Relationships- Relationship-related issues are also responsible for mental traumas and chronic stress.
· Academic Pressure- Many researchers have also highlighted the fact that the flawed system of education is increasing stress-related mental conditions among students.
Tips for Managing Stress
Nixon and Bryant (2003), 4 in a research study discussed in detail the tips that can help people manage stressful situations strategically. Along with proper medication, the following tips can also help people in coping with stress:
Counseling with psychologists can help a person discuss his/her issues. Counseling sessions allow people to overcome their fears. Discussing problems with a counselor not only helps a person deal with stressful situations calmly, but also boosts their confidence.
Therapies are very effective in stabilizing mental health and strengthening nerves.
3. Time Management
According to an article published by the National Health Association in 2005, 4 time management is probably the easiest way to manage stress. The article suggests that setting goals and strictly following deadlines can save a person from chaotic situations.
This article also highlighted the importance of strategic planning. For example, dividing a complex task into many smaller tasks can help a person analyze the probable challenges and issues and give him/her enough time to plan strategically.
What Not to Do
Nixon and Bryant also highlighted the things that one should avoid doing doing when dealing with a stressful situation.
A person suffering from stress should not isolate him/herself. The research highlighted the fact that although it is very common that a person in a depressive state of mind avoids socializing and going out, talking to people can help in diverting attention. One of the best ways to do so is sort out those friends or family members in whom you can confide.
Usually people suffering from stress end up as drug addicts. Alcohol and other drugs can numb the central nervous system and provide a temporary escape to a person from stress. However, the long-term and excessive use of drugs can impact the physical and mental health of person. Moreover, drugs and alcohol impact the decision making abilities of a person and develop suicidal tendencies.
Authors strictly forbid a person to over-think in the state of stress. Therapies and counseling can help a person divert his/her mind and seek happiness and peace of mind.
1. Amstadter, A.B., Broman-Fulks, J., Zinzow, H., Ruggiero, K.J., Cercone, J. (2009). Internet-based interventions for traumatic stress-related mental health problems: A review and suggestion for future research. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 410-420.
2. Texas University and Counseling Center. (2014). Managing Stress.
3. WHO. (2013). Guidelines for the Management of Conditions Specifically Related to Stress.
4. Nixon & Bryant (2003). Peritraumatic and persistent panic attacks in acute stress disorder. Behavior Research & Therapy, 41(10), 1237-42.
5. National Mental Health Association. (2005). Finding Hope and Help: College Student and Depression Pilot Initiative.
Christie Hunter is registered clinical counselor in British Columbia and co-founder of Theravive. She is a certified management accountant. She has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Liberty University with specialty in marriage and family and a post-graduate specialty in trauma resolution. In 2007 she started Theravive with her husband in order to help make mental health care easily attainable and nonthreatening. She has a passion for gifted children and their education. You can reach Christie at 360-350-8627 or write her at christie - at - theravive.com.