Stress is a set of physical and physiological reactions of the body to a particular situation, which is called stressful, and/or stress factors. It can concern everyone, most generally over a short period of time. However, a situation of chronic stress is pathological.

What is stress?

Stress is defined as the body's reactions, both emotional and physical, to a particular situation or stressors. Stress is a natural reaction if it is not excessive. On the other hand, a situation of chronic stress can be considered pathological and can lead to digestive disorders, headaches, sleep disorders or other physiological disorders. In people with asthma, stress can be the cause of worsening asthma symptoms. The same is true for people who are depressed, anxious, or have other mental disorders. There are ways and techniques to fight stress, especially when it is chronic, such as relaxation or breathing exercises. The most common stress situations are: the approach of examination, an interview, an oral presentation to the public or in response to a certain danger. In these situations, signs are directly observable: rapid breathing, muscle contractions, increased heart rate, etc.

Causes of stress

Stress is triggered by situations that represent a "danger" to the individual or by stressors. These stress situations and/or stressors may be related in various contexts depending on the age of the person. In children and adolescents, these can lead to violent, abusive or conflictual situations, such as in the case of a divorce of the parents. In adults, these will be more stressful situations in daily life and at work, anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that a chronic state of stress in adults is most often the result of an underlying anxiety state. Exposure to traumatic situations can also cause chronic stress. Acute stress is then differentiated from post-traumatic stress. These two disorders are the result of traumatic past events: death, accident, serious illness, etc. Other origins can also be associated with a stressful situation: smoking, the use of illegal substances, sleep disorders or eating disorders In particular, it was pointed out that people with chronic stress and long-term stress situations had a higher mortality rate.

Some tips for managing stress

Stress management is possible! A few tips and tricks can help you detect and manage your state of stress:
  • recognition of signs of stress (emotional, physical and mental);
  • discussion with family members and/or doctor;
  • daily physical activity and socialization;
  • relaxation exercises, such as breathing exercises for example;
  • identify and define its objectives and priorities;
  • keep in touch with family, friends and all the people in your daily life;

How to treat stress in case of complications?

Means and techniques for managing stress exist and are recommended as a first resort. In this first step, breathing exercises, relaxation exercises, wellness guides, etc. are available and useful. The doctor's consultation is then the second step, when the feeling of depression begins to be felt (after a few weeks of chronic stress) or when an anxious state begins to invade daily life.