WHAT IS STRESS
What is stress?
Stress is actually just tension. You always need a little tension to function properly. This tension ensures that your body is ready for action. Only when there is too much tension, this leads to complaints. Often only this is called stress.
With stress, your body gets ready to fight or flee. Your brain gives a signal so your body will make the hormone adrenalin. This makes your heart beat faster, your breathing goes faster and your muscles contract. More oxygen-rich blood goes to your heart and muscles and less to, for example, your digestive tract. In this way you can respond optimally to the 'danger'. If the danger does not go away after a few minutes, your body also makes cortisol, another stress hormone that you keep 'ready'.
The effects are normally short-lived, after which your body needs some time to recover. If the stress lasts too long, you can become overwrought or burnout.
Types of stress
The Institute for Stress Prevention in Leiden distinguishes three types of stress: exciting stress, frustrating stress and harmful stress.
Exciting stress. The exciting stress is a positive form of stress. It helps you to perform well and to be extra alert in certain situations. This can vary from a job interview to a round of racing at the circuit.
Frustrating stress. The frustrating stress occurs under circumstances that trigger frustrations, such as being in a traffic jam or a colleague who throws them with their cap.
Harmful stress. Finally, the harmful stress is the most serious kind. This arises, for example, if an employee has to do more work than is possible, if someone is regularly bullied or after a traumatic experience, such as a bank robbery. Those last two types of stress should not last too long. If that tension persists and the body does not return to a so-called rest level, we speak of chronic stress.
Causes of stress
Many different situations can cause stress. A high workload is a fairly well-known example, but also the illness or death of a loved one can cause a lot of stress. Yet not everyone is equally sensitive to stress. This has to do with the balance between the carrying capacity you have and the burden you will have to endure. If you have a high carrying capacity, you can handle more or larger stressful situations than someone who has a low carrying capacity.
Symptoms of stress
When a stressful situation takes too long or several stressful situations follow each other too quickly, your body does not have time to recover. The stress then accumulates until it becomes too much.
The symptoms of stress can be divided into four different types: physical complaints, psychological complaints, behavior symptoms and symptoms of thought.
Headache, back pain, stiff shoulders - Digestive disorders including upset stomach - Restlessness, sleep problems and fatigue.
Quickly irritated and frustrated or cry quickly. -Feeling of unhappiness, powerlessness and looking at things somberly.
No more concentration, difficulty thinking clearly. - Forgetfulness, memory problems. - Problems with creativity or resolution.
Flexibility, snariness and extremely critical towards others. - Excessive eating, drinking, smoking, et cetera.
In addition, a prolonged increase in cortisol suppresses the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
Source: Healthsplein.nl text has been approved by H. Vrij-Mazee, physician