Researchers in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) study the ways in which the immune system and the nervous system communicate with each other and impact people’s mental and emotional health. Even though the field is relatively new, many studies have been designed to examine the influence of immune and nervous systems on the psychological consequences of stress. In literal terms, recent studies have related stress to be psychological.
Many have apportioned the causes of stress to the happenings or events around them, often neglecting the invisible obvious fact that stress is relatively linked to mental health in two important ways: Stress can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse.
People are more aware of the visible sources of stress in their life such as money, time, traffic jam, and daily job schedules but never aware of the weird stress triggers.
Professor of sociology Scott Schieman, at the University of Toronto, says “There are plenty of chronic strains and low-grade challenges that don’t necessarily overwhelm you in the moment, but almost take more of a toll in the long run”. Most of the stress we experience is usually caused by allowing little things border us. Everyone experiences stress. Sometimes it can help you focus and get the task at hand done but finding effective ways to deal with it is crucial to living well.
The following have been discovered to be the major causes of stress:-
- Work: A person’s job can be a source of stress, especially because of the amount of time spent there each week and the pressure of performance placed on the worker. The Mayo Clinic states that an overwhelming workload or a difficult boss can increase the level of stress. If a person does not like her job, has a long commute or has altercations with her co-workers, she can experience even more stress. Helpguide.org notes that on the Holmes-Rahe(The Holmes and Rahe stress scaleis a list of stressful life events that can contribute to illness) Life Stress Inventory, getting fired from a job is the eighth most stressful life event. Learning how to deal with work stress will make a person’s job more effective and reduce the overwhelming workload.
- Relationships: Strained relationships can add stress to a person’s life. Divorce is the second most stressful life event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, according to Helpguide.org, followed by marriage separation. Abusive relationships can add even more stress. However, positive relationships can result in stress as well. Marriage is the seventh most stressful life event on the Holmes-Rahe list, and marriage recollection is the ninth.
- Life Changes: Most people are afraid of changes especially negative ones because adjustments to these changes can totally distort a person’s life. Certain major changes in a patient’s life can cause a large amount of stress. The Mayo Clinic notes that both positive life changes, such as a pregnancy, and negative life changes, such as the death of a loved one, can result in stress. The death of a spouse is the most stressful life event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, and the death of a close relative is the fifth. While a positive event for many people, retirement is considered the tenth most stressful event.
- Environment: Some environmental factors can cause or add to a person’s life of stress. Mayo Clinic notes that two environmental factors, noise, and excessive light, can induce stress. These environmental stressors can be worse if they are not controllable.
- Self-Generated stress also can be caused by a person’s inner thinking. For example, unrealistic expectations and perfectionism can make events in which a person did not realize his ideals even more stressful. Pessimism and negative self-talk also can cause stress.
The following steps can be taken to handle the most crucial sources of stress:
- Take a break from the stressor: It may seem difficult to get away from the work project which produces the stress but when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice technique to feel less overwhelmed
- Learn to exercise: Exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. A 20-minutes’ walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
- Get social support: There is a popular saying that goes that a problem shared is a problem half solved, when you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. Call or friend, send an email or find some ways to connect with a trusted friend.
- Meditation: Focus your mind on things keeps you joyful and motivated. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self- compassion, and forgiveness. Practicing a form of mindfulness helps people release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress.
Recognizing stress as one of the major factors that cause untimely death in various part of the world will help many adhere to strict measures on lifestyle to curb stress.