Have you ever been stressed out? If you have, how were you able to deal with the stress you had? If you usually get stressed and you are unsure of how to cope with stress, here is an article you need to read in order to figure out how to cope with stress.

What is stress? You may wonder. To answer your question, Stress can be defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a certain difficult situation. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives.

Some people think that stress is not for everyone but is for a few individuals, which is false. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way we respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to our overall well-being, which is why we need to learn how to cope with stress.

Keep in mind that stress affects both the mind and the body. However much a little bit of stress is good and can help us perform daily activities, you must refrain from being over stressed because too much stress can cause physical and mental health problems. You need to learn how to cope with stress because it can help you feel less overwhelmed and support your mental and physical well-being.

How to cope with stress

Stress can be a short-term issue or a long-term problem, depending on what changes in your life and what challenges you face in your life. Regularly using stress management techniques can help you avoid most physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms of stress.

Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. In fact, the human body is designed to experience stress and also to react to it. When you experience changes or challenges (stressors), your body produces physical and mental responses and that is what is referred to as stress.

Stress responses help your body adjust to new situations. Stress can be positive, keeping you alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. For example, if you have an important test coming up, a stress response might help your body work harder and stay awake longer to read for the upcoming test. But stress becomes a problem when stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation. When you find yourself constantly getting stress with out periods of relief, you need to know how to cope with this stress.

How your body responds to stress.

When you are stressed, the body’s autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, this changes your breathing and also, your vision changes, aside from other things. Stress. This is built-in stress response, the “fight-or-flight response,” and it helps the body to face stressful situations.

Keep in mind however that when a person has long-term (chronic) stress, continued activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body, which is why you need to know how to cope with stress. When there is were and tear on the body, the Physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms of stress then develop.

How to cope with stress

Symptoms of stress.

Aches and pains.

Since the body is drained due to the wear and tear, the body gets exhausted and as a result of the exhaustion, it experiences a lot of aches and pains. The areas that are most liable to pain are shoulders and arms. You will also find yourself having pain slightly similar to muscle pulls. You are most likely to also get headaches or migraines as a result of stress.

Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing.

Another symptom that shows you are undergoing stress is chest pain. You may feel a heavy weight on your chest or you may simply feel like your heart is constantly racing. As explained earlier, stress affects the body’s autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, this changes your breathing.

Exhaustion or trouble sleeping.

Another symptom of stress is that sometimes you may find yourself feeling exhausted but you find it very difficult to sleep. Despite you being tired, you are unable to have a good sleep. It is slightly likened to insomnia.

Headaches, dizziness or shaking.

Stress also triggers anxiety so sometimes, you may find yourself shaking constantly, feeling unsettled, dizziness and also, you may find yourself getting constant headaches.

High blood pressure.

The body releases a surge of hormones when under stress. These hormones cause the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to narrow.
When you are stressed, you find your self on tension most times. Tension tends to rise Blood pressure so you will find your blood pressure relatively higher when you are stressed.

Muscle tension.

Keep in mind that Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain. With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once, and then release their tension when the stress passes. Chronic stress causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness.
Like Earlier explained, stress without relief causes wear and tear to the body. This brings about the aches and pains experienced by the body. It also causes tension in the muscles which leads them to aching vigorously.

Stomach or digestive problems.

When you are stressed, the digestive system is also affected. How does this happen? When the stress response is activated, digestion is suppressed so the body can focus its resources to trigger fight or flight. The central nervous system shuts down digestion by slowing contractions of digestive muscles and decreasing secretions for digestion.

Trouble having sex.

When you’re stressed all the time, the adrenal hormone called cortisol suppresses sex hormones, which highly kills your libido. The worst issue is that having low sex drive also causes more stress. Too much cortisol also decreases testosterone, the main hormone that makes you want to have sex hence trouble having sex.

Weak immune system.

Like I said earlier, stress raises your cortisol levels, which can weaken your immune system if they stay high for too long.

Anxiety or depression.

When long bouts stress occur, there is an increase in cortisol and corticotrophin present in the body for longer periods of time. That boost in the presence of hormones is what leads to clinical anxiety and mood disorders.

Panic attacks.

When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. This can be helpful in some situations, but it might also cause physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating. In some people, it might cause a panic attack. When you find yourself getting panic attacks, it simply means you are stressed.

When you notice the symptoms of stress, in order for it not to get out of hand, you need to focus on how to cope with stress. Here are a few tips on how to cope with stress.


Get off computer screens for a while.

Unplugging from technology is one of the best therapies for stress. It is like a reboot for your brain. When you’re not bombarded by dozens of emails, constantly looking at news alerts on your phone could give you stress but once you take time off your screens, your mind can slow down, relax and be in the present moment.

Time away from technology also paves the way for simple pleasures. Sometimes browsing online is a little stressful because of all the alarming content you vould find online. You could instead spend time participating in a stimulating activity like puzzle building or even reading.

Take care of yourself.

Ensure to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself a break if you feel stressed out. Giving yourself a break gives you time to relax and therefore you are able to relieve stress that has been accumulated previously.

Take care of your body.

Your body needs to be healthy. Ensure to look after your body in order to be able to cope with stress. You could try exercising your body regularly, Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate, try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
You should also make sure to get plenty of sleep. Sleep enough for the body to be able to rejuvenate. Try to also avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.

Talk to others.

Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.

Avoid drugs and alcohol.

These may seem to help, but they can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling. Once you sober up, the reality hits you again and you feel emptier than you did before you actually got drunk.

Recognize when you need more help.

If problems persist or if you find yourself thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor. Seek help before issues get worse.

How to cope with stress

For Others.

Talk, listen, and encourage expression.

Listen to their thoughts and feelings and share some of yours. After a traumatic event, it is important for people to feel they can share their feelings and that you understand their fears and worries.

Watch and listen.

Be alert for any change in behavior. Any changes in behavior may be signs that your relative/ friend could be or is having trouble and may need support. Always be keen enough to notice changes within them because that is the best way you will be able to help them.

Connect with others.

Do not try to support anyone alone. Talk to other people who you might think could be willing to help about ways to help your friend/relative to cope with stress. It is often helpful for people to work together for the well-being of all children in stressful times.

It is undeniable that the best way to beat stress is by learning how to cope with stress.


The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

William James

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes stress?
Very many things could cause stress. For instance, when you don’t have much or any control over the outcome of a situation, Have responsibilities that you find overwhelming, Don’t have enough work, activities or change in your life, Experience discrimination, hate or abuse.

What foods make stress worse?
Very many food stuffs make stress worse but the most common ones are Alcohol, Caffeine, Sugary drinks and foods, Processed foods, such as chips, cookies, frozen foods and ready-made meals, Foods high in trans fats and excessive saturated fats, such as fried foods, red meat, full-fat dairy, butter and baked goods.

Which fruit is best for stress?
Citrus Fruits and Strawberries Contain Vitamin C, Which Help Fight Stress. Some studies have found that high levels of vitamin C may help ease stress levels

Can stress make you sick?
Yes. Chronic stress (stress that occurs consistently over a long period of time) can have a negative impact on a person’s immune system and physical health. If you are constantly under stress, you may experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, headaches, an upset stomach, trouble sleeping or high blood pressure.

Can stress make you gain weight?
You guessed right. Weight gain is one of the Long-term effects of stress. The link between stress and weight gain is real. Those elevated cortisol levels circulating in your body lower your metabolism and encourage cravings for fat and sugars.

Leticia Nambaziira

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