Almost everyone experiences stress from time to time, and while a small amount of stress can motivate us, too much or prolonged stress can be damaging to both our physical and mental health.
There are many things in life that can cause stress, including work, relationships, family issues and financial problems. For some people, stress causes them to adopt unhealthy coping methods such as smoking or drinking – and while this may feel like a quick fix, ultimately these are covering the issue. Recognising what causes you stress and learning how to manage these feelings effectively, ultimately, is the healthiest and most effective way to feel good and live a happy life.
What is stress?
Stress is an innate reaction embedded from our caveman days. Humans had to deal with threatening situations, which caused our brains to release a range of ‘stress chemicals’ such as cortisol and adrenaline to provoke what is known as the fight-or-flight reaction. The fight reaction would give us a burst of energy, ready to fight for our lives, while the flight reaction would encourage us to flee from danger and protect ourselves. These days, we rarely encounter threatening situations. However, our brains continue to react in this way when we are under pressure.