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What is stress, exactly?

As long as you remain a living and breathing human being, you will encounter stress at certain times in your life. It is your body’s response to the challenges or demands presented to it, as defined by MedLinePlus (U.S. National Library of Medicine website).

These are perfectly normal feelings, and they can be good for you in some cases (e.g., helping you avoid dangerous situations). But if they linger, they can put you at risk for fairly serious health problems, such as depression or anxiety, or even be the source of chronic skin problems, for example.

You may be quite aware of what specifically triggers stress for you-working against a deadline or having a war with your spouse-but these factors can creep into your life in other, sometimes unexpected ways as well. Twenty-one of the most common causes that can cause unwanted stress are discussed here. In particularly difficult cases, doctors sometimes prescribe this remedy: https://pillintrip.com/medicine/xanax-retard.

Meaningful Other.
Even if you are simply blissful in your cohabitation and relationship with your partner or spouse, you are both doomed to sometimes do things that get on the other’s nerves. “Early in the relationship, there tend to be problems with space and habits – for example, whether you’re squeezing paste from the middle or the bottom of a tube,” says Ken Yeager, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. – “Later on, you may have conflicts about parenting or financial problems, and you need to learn how to present a united front to solve those problems together.

So what is the key to a long and happy life together? Finding balance, answers K. Yeager: in spending the right periods of time together (not too short and not too long); in being able to compromise, staying honest and open with each other to communicate, and remembering and acknowledging daily what you love each other for.

Everyday irritants.
We are constantly urged to “not worry about the little things” and not to “worry about the little things,” but it is often the little things that have the most negative impact on our mood: endless phone calls with the insurance company, a rude cashier at the grocery store, a 20-minute unsuccessful search for a parking space.

“We let these kinds of things annoy us because they trigger unconscious fears,” Ken Yeager notes, “the fear of appearing irresponsible to someone, of being bullied or ridiculed, or, say, the fear of being late for something. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and realize that you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances.

Other people’s stresses
There was a 2014 study in Germany that suggested that stress is contagious, contagious. In a series of experiments, most of those participants who simply observed other people solving stressful tasks also found an increased secretion of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” This phenomenon is known as empathic stress. You can also become stressed if someone you know is the victim of a traumatic situation, such as a car accident or serious illness. As Dr. Yeager says, “…you start to worry, ‘Oh my God, that could have happened to me! Usually we try not to think about that kind of thing, and we don’t think about it until it’s somewhere near our house.
Social Media
Social media like Facebook or Instagram may seem like the only way to maintain friendships with those you don’t see regularly – and during particularly busy periods, you see almost no buddies. But the same social media, according to numerous Pew Research Center studies, can also have the opposite effect: it makes you instantly aware of all the stressful situations and events going on in your friends’ lives, thereby adding stress to your own life. And while the Pew Research Center was unable to conclusively prove this as a general rule in 2015, earlier studies have shown that frequent use of social media can lead to at least a negative perception of your own body and a significantly prolonged period of “heartache” during relationship breakups.

Distraction
Shifting your focus can be a great thing to help you take your mind off a stressful situation or the need to make a difficult decision – for example, you take a break from a stressful job to meet a friend for lunch. But it also works the other way around, which is that you may find yourself stressed out thinking about something stressful and it prevents you from fully enjoying what’s going on around you “here and now.” This kind of distraction could be called one of the recipes for stress.

“Various practices of increasing focus, thoughtfulness, and concentration ensure your brain is refreshed (the original stands for ‘refresh,’ an obvious allusion to forced reloading and refreshing the page in Web browsers) and maximizing productivity as needed,” says Richard Lenox, director of the Student Counseling Center at Texas Tech University. And he adds: “Being completely focused on your surroundings when you’re walking or driving is a good idea. Stress and anxiety tend to dissolve when all the focus is on the present.”

Your childhood
Traumatic events you experienced as a child can still increase your stress levels and negatively impact your health in adulthood. A 2014 study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that negative childhood experiences can actually change the functioning of the parts of the brain responsible for processing stress and emotions. The conditions in which you grew up can still affect your daily level of anxiety (one of the meanings of the English term “angst” is existential anxiety, which is more accurate in this case). Also in 2014, researchers from Johns Hopkins University confirmed this. It was shown that those children whose parents suffer from social anxiety disorder have a higher risk of developing so-called “trickle-down” anxiety – not only because of genetic factors, but also because of the features of parental behavior, in particular the lack of emotions and warmth, or high levels of criticism, doubts, demands, etc.

Tea and Chocolate
You’re probably aware of the notion that you shouldn’t pile on the coffee if you’re feeling “on edge.” Dr. Ken Yeager reminds us, “Caffeine always exacerbates stress, it’s well-known. But you may not realize that several cups of tea or a candy bar in a row contain almost as much caffeine as a cup of strong coffee. Chocolate, for example, is a powerful source of caffeine, and I personally know some people who do not drink coffee at all, but eat six candies and candy bars in two hours, because they unconsciously crave the extra shake. In other words, abusing caffeine in any form can lead to irritability and emotional instability, sleep and digestive disorders.

Your Expectations
When things don’t go slightly as you planned, do you tend to get upset, get discouraged and act exclusively on the defensive, or do you respond to fate with a bang, readjusting on the fly and devising a new plan?

If the first, then you put your own thinking on pessimistic rails and develop a psychology of “victim of circumstances” that gradually weakens you – even if in reality the situation is not as bad as it may seem to you. “Your level of serenity and peacefulness is inversely proportional to your expectations,” K. Yeager succinctly formulates. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you shouldn’t set ambitious goals or settle for less than you deserve, but being realistic in your expectations and assessments of possibilities is actually very important.