Stress and Depression are the common part of our life and everyone has to face some kind of stress and depression in their lifetime.
Stress to some kind is good if it works as the motivator but overstressed or depression is bad for your health and can have negative impact on your body and your lifestyle.
Stress and depression both are the same but with little difference in them. Stress can come from marriage issues, financial problems, work pressure in professional life, Overdemanding Boss, or if you are getting any kind of unexpected rejection and many more.
But when this kind of stress continues for a prolonged period it gets converted to depression that worsens your health condition.
What is Stress?
Stress is the natural defence system for our body that protects our body in a dangerous situation.
Stress can come from any situation in our life that can be through environmental factors, Overthinking or some physical changes which makes us tense, frustrated or nervous.
When we are tense, the body produces certain types of hormones which are known as the fight response of our body.
If you are under stress for a short time period then it’s fine but if it continues for a prolonged period then it will be harmful for you.
There is Two types of Stress :-
- Acute Stress – Acute stress occurs when you are going through a particular stressful situation. “ACUTE STRESS” as the name signifies the stress is usually for a short time period that may be 3 to 5 days but the stress develops very quickly. Acute stress usually comes from nervousness and fear.
For example if you have witnessed a road accident and you got shocked from that event that can cause you stress which is due to a fear and that causes stress in you.
OR take an example you have got a work promotion in your office which can again lead to stress because sometimes it is seen that people get nervous due to their promotion because of new responsibility they have to handle.
These types of stress develop quickly and also disappear quickly which is known as Acute stress.
Symptoms of Acute Stress
- Heart rate raises
- Breathing Problem
- Mood upset
- Unable to sleep
- Chronic Stress – Usually, this type of stress is related to the exposure to emotional pressure for a prolonged period of time. Usually, people can’t trace they are suffering from chronic stress because their body adapts to that condition and they feel it to be normal.
This happens because all of sudden you are not going under chronic stress. At the initial stage you will get Acute Stress and when you are not getting relieved from acute stress then you develop chronic stress and this is a very long process in which our body adapts to the conditions.
As for example anyone who is searching for a job and he is applying everywhen but he is getting rejected every time then stress can develop but it will be Acute Stress but if this rejection is continued for a long time then the Acute stress can turn to Chronic stress.
Chronic stress is a long time process and it shows its symptoms maybe after 3 to 4 months but this varies from person to person and can affect your mental and physical state badly.
This chronic stress gets converted into depression when left untreated and that worsens your health condition.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
- Blood sugar rises (Diabetes)
- Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Low Libido
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Mood Swing
When your body goes under stress your body produces several stress hormones such as Cortisol and adrenaline from adrenal gland to prepare your body for combat with the situation which is also known as body’s fight response.
In this condition heart rate and blood pressure increases, the brain becomes more alert, muscle tissue hardens but the immune system goes low because the body needs to concentrate on above mentioned areas. These conditions are developed by our body to tackle stressful situations.
But if this is the regular process in the individual’s life then it can harm your health because the stress hormones are produced continuously and the body is not getting time to recover.
Digestive issue – When the body is going through stress continuously the digestive enzymes are not secreted properly in the digestive tract which causes digestion problems.
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure – Some studies have shown that with the increases in stress hormone blood ingredients concentration increases and blood loses fluids. This may be the reason for increasing blood cholesterol.
It is believed that with the increase in stress hormones the triglycerides level increases which harden our arteries and also increases the cholesterol level.
Cholesterol is the waxy substance that sticks to the wall of the artery which resists the blood flow and it results in high blood pressure.
Obesity – Stress plays a significant role in controlling the obesity level. So get control over your stress level .
When you are under stress your body produces Adrenaline through the activation of nerves that are connected to the adrenaline gland and it triggers the production of adrenaline hormone and it’s release into the bloodstream and this process takes 1 to 2 min to complete when you’re under stress. So every time you get stressed adrenaline is secreted.
These adrenalin then trigger the adipose tissue to secrete the fatty acids to use them as energy. But these days people are stressed mentally rather than physically. So the body didn’t use these fatty acids in the form of energy.
In this response adrenaline gland secrete another hormone known as Cortisol to collect the unused fatty acids and transport them to the cells. These fatty acids are actually harmful to your body because it’s hard to burn these fats and get rid of it. These fatty acids which are collected by cortisol settle in the belly portion.
Emotional Symptoms of Stress
- Mood Swing
- Self -harm mentality
- Anxiety and Depression
- Feeling Worthless and lonely
Physical Symptoms of Stress
- Muscle stiffness
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Pimples and Acne
- Low immunity power
Mental Symptoms of stress
- Concentration and Focus inability
- Useless thoughts
- Negative thinking
- Low memory power ( difficult to remember)
- Constantly worrying about something
With these changes in the body of a stressed person some behavioral changes can be noticed such as rudeness, neglecting the responsibilities and can also increase use of drugs or alcohol consumption.
Long term effect of Stress on our health :
- Constipation due to enzymes imbalance. Constipation is not the symptoms of Acute stress but the Chronic stress
- Sexual dysfunction – This problem actually happens when the body is going through chronic stress and the level of happy hormones such as Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin decreases. This can also happen due to blood flow problem
- Pimple and Hair Loss – When you are under stress the production of androgen hormones are increased that causes pimples and Hair loss. Pimples are caused by Acute stress but it does not result in hair loss but chronic stress causes both problems.
- Heart attack – Heart attack occurs because when the is going through stress the level of triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure increases.
Best Vitamins and Supplements for stress:-
- Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is the adaptogen herbal plant found mainly in India which means it can help you with stress, anxiety and Depression symptoms. Ashwagandha also helps in performing the other vital functions in the brain and body .
- Rhodiola Rosea – Rhodiola rosea is the adaptogenic herb found in the mountains region of Asia. It promotes good health,strength,performance and endurance. It also helps in blood circulation which helps in stress and depression management.
- Melatonin – Melatonin is the natural hormone produced in our body to maintain sleep-wake cycle. This hormone increases in the evening to promote sleep and decreases in morning to keep you awake. Getting enough sleep can help you to get rid of stress. You can supplement with a Melatonin supplement if you are having difficulties with sleep quality.
- Glycine – Glycine is the natural amino acid produced by our body to make protein. A protein rich diet contains a good amount of glycine but you can also take glycine supplementation. It helps to promote mental health and reduce your body temperature to normal .
- B – Complex Vitamin – B-complex vitamin includes a combination of 8 B- Vitamins. Taking Vitamin B- Complex can promote heart and brain function. It can help with blood circulation and boost cognitive performance to get relief from stress .
Best Foods to try for managing stress
- Brazil Nuts – Brazil nuts are a rich source of Selenium. Selenium helps in reducing inflammation and helps in improving mood disorder, Stress and Depression.
- Fatty Fish – Fatty fish such as salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which contain two fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This fatty acid regulates neurotransmitters, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy brain function.
- Dark chocolates – Dark Chocolate has high tryptophan content, which the body uses as mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin in the brain. It is also a good source of magnesium. Taking a diet rich in magnesium content in it may reduce symptoms of depression.
- Green Tea – Green tea are rich in an amino acid called L- theanine, which is receiving increasing scrutiny due to its potential effects on mood disorders. Theanine has anti-anxiety and calming effects and may increase the production of serotonin and dopamine which is the feel good hormone.
Other Foods that help in Stress Management
- Swiss Chard
In our daily life you cannot avoid stress and depression, stress will come in many ways to you. It can be work load, education, your boss, Job satisfaction problem, financial problem and it can be anything.
In every part of life you have to face some kind of stress but it’s up to you how you can tackle it. If you are taking your stress seriously then it’s going to affect you but if you instead of taking stress, plan how to tackle it it will definitely help you.
Here are some healthy suggestions that will help you to manage stress and depression.
- Identify your stressors and make a plan how to overcome it. For example if you are stressed for your exam then plan your study schedule and maintain a routine timing in order to complete your syllabus. Planning will definitely help you.
- Exercise regularly at least for 30 mins a day. It will bring strength ,confidence and better health in you. Regular exercise will promote your blood circulation and Sleep quality.
- Don’t worry or think about your stressor too much. For example if you are financially down for some reason and you are thinking of it all day round you will go under stress and depression.
- Change your lifestyle and Diet. Some diets you are taking may result in high cortisol and insulin level which will make you experience stress and depression.
- Keep distance from pessimistic people. They are always going to show you the downside of anything and that can make you stressed and Depressed. Be optimistic, don’t lose hope, have confidence and faith in yourself to overcome the situation.
- Spend time with friends, family and closed ones. Share your problem and you will be much relaxed. I know not every problem is shareable but try to share a little bit that will make you feel relaxed.
- Use Aromatherapy during sleep and Meditation which will relax your body
- Do things that you actually like and enjoy doing the staff. Doing things with lack of interest is one of the main reasons for stress .
- Go for a well-managed vacation. Prefer planning your vacation to some virgin nature. It will give you more peace of mind and soul and you will return with much energy in you.
At last there is one thing to say health is the most precious wealth we got. There is nothing more than your health. You can do anything and everything if you have a fit body and mind. At last happiness is the only thing which matters most to anyone lifes.
So don’t take much stress and try to plan and manage your stressors. Always remember bad times come and go, it’s not like that bad times will remain with you forever but if you are taking too much stress it will affect your health condition which will make you suffer for a long time.