What is​ Stress and common symptoms associated with it

Everyone must have dealt with stress sometime or the other. Our guest blogger Rashmi Patwardhan talks about stress and the common symptoms associated with it.

Ever stalked fit people and their fitness routine on social media? Made a solemn promise to yourself that you would start your fitness regimen the moment you are done stalking them? I think all of us are guilty of doing this in one form or the other. With a quick google search even the laziest person can tell you what you should be doing to improve your health. Physical health i.e. , Obviously.

Health was and still is widely synonymous to Physical health and physical health only. Mental health is mostly met with hostility or reluctance in the least. Mental health is equally important if not more than physical health.
Contrary to popular belief, any person can suffer from anxiety and stress. It doesn’t have anything to do with the way you were raised. In fact a good portion of people experience anxiety and stress as a phase at least once in their lifetime. However, prevention is better than cure and thus students being aware of mental health become inevitable. More often than not, stress and anxiety is not seen as a problem at all; unless “it becomes too much to handle” Sometimes, even the realisation doesn’t occur till it is too late.

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So What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s reaction to a threat situation. Anxiety is the reaction to stress.

For e.g. you will be stressed if you are in a threatening situation; say you are being mugged. Your body releases a hormone called adrenaline. This hormone prepares your body for “flight or fight” reaction. i.e. either you will run away from the threatening situation or you will fight.
Ideally, when the stressful event passes your body relaxes and comes back to its normal state. Now anxiety is when there is no stressor (an event or a situation) but still you are fearful, worry excessively ultimately affecting your day to day routine and life. Both stress and anxiety, if left unchecked can manifest into physical illnesses. Therefore it is necessary to be mindful of how you are treating your body and mind.  Some of the common symptoms are as mentioned below.
Physical Symptoms

Irregular bowel movements

Irregular or missed periods

Fatigue

Headaches

Nausea

Heartburn or indigestion

Decreased libido

Trouble sleeping

Emotional Symptoms

More frequent or extreme pessimistic  attitude

Feelings or being overwhelmed

Isolation

Decrease or complete lack of desire for  activities once enjoyed

Feelings of sadness and/or depression

Cognitive Symptoms

Anxious thoughts or feelings

Chronic worrying

Repetitive thoughts
impaired concentration

Trouble with remembering things

Behavioural Symptoms

Change in eating habits

Changes in sleeping habits

Nail biting

Pacing

Frequent lying

Unusual desire for isolation

Trouble getting along with peers, co-workers

Abnormal failure or delay to complete everyday responsibilities

Here we have to remember that depending on the individual and the cause of stress and the situation, these symptoms may vary. It is not exactly a rule of thumb but even if you feel something is off and can’t place your finger on what has gone wrong but it is affecting you emotionally and /or physically then it is never too soon to consult a counsellor or a therapist.
I will talk about what can be possible stressors and how to deal with them in the next segment

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