Archive for the ‘ Health ’ Category

Stress

By: Maya Schenne

What is stress? Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain/tension resulting from very demanding circumstances.” Many people experience stress weekly, or sometimes, daily. There are three different types of stress: chronic stress, acute stress, and episodic acute stress. They have varied symptoms and treatments.

Acute stress is the most common type of stress. It is usually caused by trauma, both emotional and physical. Getting in trouble at school would be an example. Some symptoms are headaches, chest pain, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, dizziness, fast heartbeat, etc. If you have acute stress, try going for a walk, taking a bubble bath, or even reading a book. Take some time to de-stress. You can use essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile, to help relax.

Episodic acute stress is when you have acute stress for a long period of time. Common symptoms include tension headaches, chest pain, heart disease, hypertension, and migraines. Episodic acute stress is long-term acute stress. You just need to unwind and use any of the treatments for acute stress, but you may need to use these treatments more often.

Chronic stress is the worst kind of stress. Chronic stress is dangerous because it can cause depression, heart attacks, strokes, and even suicide. Many people with chronic stress don’t even know it’s there. They just forget about it and give up. Treatment includes calming down before bed by listening to soothing music, meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or reading a book. Try not to eat a heavy meal or do intense exercise before bed. You can also try to find the source of the stress and modify it.

There are also positive types of stress that encourage creativity and productivity. An example of this would be if you have a deadline for a project, paper, etc. and it encourages you to finish in time. Another example of a positive stress would be studying hard for a test and getting a good grade on it. It’s stressful, but the benefits are worth more than the stress it creates.

I asked Jennifer Schenne, a doctor at YRMC Physician Care Clinic, the following questions about stress:

Maya: How would you define stress?

Dr. Schenne: An event that can cause an emotional or physical response, whether it be positive or negative.

M: How would you recommend dealing with stress?

DS: I usually recommend an activity that can relieve the stress, either physical (such as swimming, walking, yoga, etc.) or any activity that is calming (such as meditation, breathing exercises, reading, painting, or any enjoyable activity).

M: How does stress affect your life?

DS: Small amounts of stress can be beneficial in creating positive outcomes, whereas cumulative stress causes illness, disease, and mental strife.

M: What are some common causes of stress?

DS: Work, family situations, finances, politics, injuries or acute trauma, change (such as moving, death, marriage, children, etc.)

M: Why is dealing with stress important?

DS: If you leave the stress unattended, it will cause emotional harm, and potentially physical, and it continues to build upon itself, so you need a way to deal with and manage it.

Here are some quotes about stress that may cause you to stop and think:

“It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.”

-Hans Selye.

How you react to stressful situations, determines its outcome. If you react positively, the outcome will be much different than being negative.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

-William James

If you choose to relax instead of becoming tense, you can defeat stress and change the outcome of a situation.

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.”

-Eckhart Tolle

The only time you have is now, live in the present. Don’t focus on where you could be, focus on where you are right now.

What do you think? What causes stress in your life? And how are you going to manage it? Are you going to think about it in a positive way? Learn from these examples and don’t worry about the past or future, just focus on the present with a positive attitude. When stress levels are high, take moment, breath, and focus on an activity that makes you happy. Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

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