Stress is an inevitable part of life- whether going to work, school or just staying at home. It takes energy to get things done but there's only so much we can do before it's all zapped out. It's important to realize when one's stress level is getting high and manage it.
That being established, let's take a deeper look into the subject.
What is stress?
A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Physiological disturbance or damage caused to an organism by adverse circumstances.
What causes stress?
- Money: A popular saying goes, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." Money is essential to survive. It's how we can afford certain pleasures of life or otherwise. It, however, is never enough because human needs are insatiable. Not having enough money to take care of essential needs is one of the major cause of stress around the world.
- Being under a lot of pressure or work overload: Having too much work is known to cause stress. It's common for companies or employers to overload their staff with a lot of work in a bid to "reduce cost and optimize profit." This might work for a little while but the resulting effect is a reduction in efficiency or staff or high staff turnover.
- Facing discrimination or harassment at work
- Changes in the external environment: This can be explained using PESTEL Analysis. Changes outside your control have effects on activities you are involved in and cause favourable or unfavourable impact.
- Underlying medical conditions
- Traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, pandemic, theft or rape: The COVID-19 pandemic is a typical example. It stressed a lot of individuals and companies. Questions about survival, the long-term impact on lives, companies, the economy, socio-economic environment and other areas were raised.
- Unrealistic expectations: No one is perfect. If you expect perfection at all times, you are bound to feel stressed as it is an impossible feat.
- Big changes
- Social discrimination
Impact of Stress
- Constant fatigue
- Medical conditions e.g. stroke, high blood pressure
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Use of hard drugs or other illegal substances
- Weight gain or loss
How to deal with Stress
A few of the ways to destress are:
- Acknowledge that it is real and inevitable.
- Speaking about what stresses you to friends, family or even a therapist.
- Exercise and eat well.
- Don't take on too much work. Delegate when you can.
- Don't overthink. Some things are beyond your control.
- Create a work-life balance strategy
Managing your stress can make a real difference to your health, both physical and mental health. It's therefore imperative to be conscious about the causes of stress that we face and act on them.