Stress - Causes, Symptoms & Ways to Improve your ability to Handle Stress

As you all know there is so much stress found these days in workplace. Most of them are due to fear of losing one's job. Lot of stress at workplace contributes to lower productivity, increased job related accidents, mental and physical health issues.

There is stress hormone called “cortisol” secreted in our body. It is an important hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and relates to number of functions, including proper glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, insulin release for blood sugar maintenance, immune function, and inflammatory response.

Stress is not the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream. It has been called as the stress hormone because it's secreted in higher levels during any response to stress. It is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body. If stress is more then its level of secretion increases.

There is also an advantage that small increases of cortisol have some positive effects in our body. It includes burst of energy, heightened memory functions, a burst of increased immunity, lower sensitivity to pain, and to help in maintaining homeostasis in the body.

Cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body's response to stress. It is important that the body's relaxation response be activated so that the body's functions can return to normal functioning following a stressful event. But in the case of high-stress culture, and most especially with the uncertainty in the workplace, the body's stress response is activated so often that the body doesn't always have a chance to return to normal. This can result in a state of chronic stress.

If the level of cortisol in the bloodstream is high then it may have negative effects such as:

  • Suppressed thyroid function
  • Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
  • Slowed wound healing, and other health consequences
  • Decreased bone density
  • Impaired cognitive performance
  • Decrease in muscle tissue
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Lower immunity and inflammatory responses in the body

Ways to relieve Stress

There are many ways by which you can try to eliminate stress at work. The most important ways are discussed below:

Control your Mind
No one can guarantee that your job is safe. In most cases, it is completely out of the control of those who get laid off. But, what you can do is to control your own mind. This is the first and one of the most critical place to address the stress. If you can have a control of your mind then you can overcome the stress caused due to lay off. Fear of losing job is the root cause of stress in work place. You must remind yourself that the world will not come to an end it you lose your job. Things will never be the same and it will always change.
You will not be a productive employee if you are working with fear and stress. Take the fear out of mind and think how you can do a better job. Always try to sharpen your skills and abilities. Everyone should always remember that if you are fired the company can only take away your income but not who you are and what you can do. This is what you carry with you throughout your life. So try to focus on that and improve in every aspect whatever way you can.

Exercise daily
Exercise is very good to the body and it also plays an important role in anti-anxiety treatment. It gives you increased energy, sharpens your focus and helps you to relax. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. This will not only help us to relieve stress but also keep our body healthy.

Controlled Diet
Try to eat a healthy diet. People who secrete higher levels of cortisol in response to stress tend to eat more food, and tend to eat more carbohydrates than people who secrete less cortisol. Most of the trainers will tell you that eating 5 small portions a day will help you to maintain blood sugar level.

Avoid Drinking and Smoking
Try to avoid drinking alcohol. Many of us think that drinking alcohol will relieve stress. It can only lead to addiction and it does not really get rid of the stress. Smoking doesn't really relax you. It can only lead to higher anxiety levels which will only lead to a worst situation.

Get good Sleep
Getting the right amount of rest will help a long way in relieving stress. Lack of sleep compromises your ability to handle stressful situations. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. This will go a long way in helping you to have a control over stress.
If you can follow these simple steps I am sure that you can start eliminating stress gradually, and eventually getting rid of it.

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