According to NHS guidelines; 'Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.
Many of life's demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do.
Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.
You might feel anxious, irritable or low in self esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably.
You may also experience headaches, muscle tension, or pain or dizziness.
Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats - the so-called 'fight or flight' response.
Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you're constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.
Why do we need to Relax and how is it useful for our Health ?
Relaxation is allowing physical and / or mental tension to be released. Tension is the body's natural response to threat, part of the body's alarm or survival mechanism. The stress activates Sympathetic Nervous System and stress can be very useful response, however a lot of the time, we don't need this tension. When the Sympathetic Nervous System is activated we are in fight-or-flight mode and over time this can have all kinds of negative accumulative effects.
Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Opposite to stress relaxation activates Parasympathetic Nervous System and this have the following effects on body:
- Breathing becomes slow and deep, resulting in the necessary amount of oxygen intake
- Muscles become less tense
- A feeling of calm is experienced
- Organ function, such as digestion, occurs normally
- Ability to think clearly is enhanced
- Memory improves
- Improved concentration
- Feeling of confidence and calm rather than anxiety and fear
- Increased mental clarity
- Better sleep, more restful sleep, easier falling asleep
- Increased productivity during the day
- Stress hormones return to normal levels
- Improved immune system (stress hormones interfere with immune system function, while relaxation improves immunity)
- Basically, relaxation induces calm, level, normal body functioning
So, wishing you Good stress (timely and in the right scale) and lots of RELAXATION afterwards.