Your daily stress is a complex thing. Others may or may not relate to the things making your daily life harder because let’s face it, everyone has different lives and stress is relative to our own situations. Stress is so powerful that if you let it, it can make you sick or even kill you! Why? Stress is just a feeling, right???
Stress, has very real physical effects on your body. Women with PCOS can experience different levels of Stress from PCOS physical symptoms of the condition, such as excessive facial and body hair. It’s important to remember if you’re experiencing this kind of stress, it’s because you’re believing in deeply engrained cultural ideas of what women do and don’t have. Body hair isn’t fun, and can get in the way but its important to remember there are ways to deal with body hair and letting it lead to anxiety and depression is going to cause more harm and discomfort.
So let’s go over the three types of stress and some real life solutions for keeping calm and healthy.
Type 1: ACUTE STRESS
Oh boy, I feel my heart rate go up just from seeing those CAPS! Don’t worry, Acute stress is usually brief but still far from fun. An example of Acute Stress is that argument you had with your best friend. You can’t stop thinking about what was said, you’re focusing on negative elements and letting them replay in your mind. Or you’re thinking about your body image and how it might compare to that girl at work and that feeling of stress is again coming from your thoughts.
Acute stress is negative thoughts that are filling your mind about a recent situation, event or upcoming demands. This type of stress will normally reduce or be removed when you’re no longer thinking about the event or change your mindset.
Acute Stress Short-term Effects:
Common signs and symptoms include
- Emotional distress - anger, irritability, anxiety and depression
- Muscular distress - jaw pain, neck pain, back pain, headache and other muscular tensions that can lead to pulled muscules.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, acid reflex,
Type 2: EPISODIC ACUTE STRESS
If you’re frequently experiencing Acute Stress then it might develop into Episodic Acute Stress. These individuals often live a life of chaos and crisis, feeling pressured or rushed. They take on many responsibilities, and usually can not stay organized.
Episodic Acute Stress Effects:
- Emotional distress — anger, anxiety and depression
- Cognitive distress — compromised attention/concentration, mental fatigue.
- Interpersonal relationships deteriorate
- Muscular distress— tension, headache, back pain, jaw pain, pulled muscles, tendons, and ligament problems.
- Stomach, gut, bowel problems, heartburn, acid stomach, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- High blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, dizziness, migraine headaches, cold hands or feet, shortness of breath, insomnia, chest pain, and heart disease.
- Immune System Compromise: frequent colds/flu
Type 3: CHRONIC STRESS
This is the most harmful type of stress. If chronic stress is left untreated over a long period of time, it can often create irreversibly damage on your physical health and deteriorate your mental health.
Examples would be, long term poverty, repeated abuse in any form, unemployment, dysfunctional family, poor work environment, or maybe an unhappy marriage.
People who experience untreated Chronic stress may eventually breakdown and it can lead to suicide, violence, homicide, heart attack, stroke and cancer. People wear down to a final, fatal breakdown
If you feel like your stress level is off the charts, please find help but if you feel like you can manage it, here are some helpful hints to alleviate your stress.
- Identify the source of your stress.
- Is it emotional or physical stress?
- What's the source of your stress?
- What's the solution to resolve the issue?
- What's the first step to resolving the issue?
It’s important to actually take out a piece of paper or open Notes on your phone to write these out. Really try to at least understand the issue as fully as possible.
Other ways to reduce stress:
- Try meditation. I know, everyone says that and I'm always the one whose like... I don't know how to do that, obviously I can't relax! But I am currently trying a 7 day free trial of Calm that I'm liking, it's a meditation App that seems to have a lot of helpful classes included and daily 10-15 meditation recordings.
- Another great way to relax is to take a walk out in nature, of course if it's freezing outside that doesn't help. Exercise inside would be great, dance to some music, or put on heavy metal and head-bang (the idea is to get the blood flowing).
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, these tend to amplify emotion more more than you realize.
- Talk to someone who will listen. I'm always hesitant on this as most people can't relate but if you do find someone who can, talking about it can be great.
- Try supplements that will balance out your body like S'moo, vitamin-B complex.
- Light some candles and take a hot bath while focusing on your breathing.