Is a normal part of life. Stress can be experienced from the body your environment and your thoughts.Stress helps us stay focused, alert and energetic through the release of chemicals.

However, when stress becomes overwhelming it can be harmful to your health, productivity, mood, affects your relationships and the quality of life.

Mind Matters stress


Stress can be of different kinds, making it difficult and complicated to manage stress. – ACUTE STRESS, EPISODIC STRESS AND CHRONIC STRESS– Each have there on characteristics, symptoms, duration and treatment approaches.

Acute Stress

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. It usually is a result of demands and pressure of recent past events, and the expectations of the nearing future. It is normal in small doses, however can be very exhausting if it is too much.

Chronic Stress

While acute stress can be thrilling and exciting, chronic stress is not. This is the grinding stress that wears people away day after day, year after year. Chronic stress disrupts every system in your body. It affects your health, causing serious diseases, health risks and can also lead to suicide cases.

Effects of stress on body

Both sudden stress and even stress over time can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts systems in the body

  • Raise Blood pressure,
  • Suppresses the immune systems,
  • Increase risk of heart attacks and stroke
  • Contribute to infertility
  • Speed up aging process
  • Leaving you vulnerable to mental and emotional problems.

Episodic Stress

People suffering from episodic stress may find it difficult to change their lifestyle, as they accept stress as a part of life. They take on too much, not having the ability to keep up. They tend to be overly competitive and in a constant worrying state of mind which results into episodic stress.

Post Traumatic Stress

Usually occurs in people do not recover from having experienced or witnessed some sort of traumatic incident this can be a natural disaster, accident, terrorist act/war, rape or violent mental or physical assault. These events could have occurred in their childhood or at a point in life.

Causes Of STRESS

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to why we get stressed. Each of us reacts differently to situations, and the causes of stress range from external factors like family, career, etc. to our attitude towards life such as negativity and pessimism.

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External Causes

Stressors are events and situations that happen to you. Some examples of external stressors include: Major life changes. These changes can be positive, such as a new marriage, a planned pregnancy, a promotion or a new house. Or they can be negative, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce.

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Internal Causes

Some stressors are internal — stress-inducing thoughts or behaviours. Genetic and hormonal causes of stress, which are exacerbated by chronic worry, pessimism, negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations/perfectionism, rigid thinking, lack of flexibility, all-or-nothing attitude.

Signs & Symptoms

Here are some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to stress overload.



  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgement
  • Negative perspective
  • Anxiousness and constant thought
  • Constant worrying


  • Moodiness
  • Irritability, short temper
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Agitation, unable to relax
  • Depression or unhappiness


  • Aches and pain
  • Constipation/ digestive problems
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Chest pain, increased heart rate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds


  • Change in eating habits
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Neglect towards responsibility
  • Use of alcohol drugs or cigarettes to relax
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Nervous habits- (nail bitting, pacing)

What can STRESS Trigger

While stress impacts the body negatively, in the long term it can lead to several stress-related diseases or complaints. These conditions are likely caused by stress.


Skin conditions

Skin conditions like rheumatoid, arthritis, psoriasis, eczema and other skin rashes can be triggered due to increased levels of stress hormones. This alters inflammatory responses, which then affects the immune system.



Worry and stress tends to keep the mind active with constant thought, which is why people who are stressed find it difficult and on other occasions impossible to sleep.


CVD and Heart disease

These 2 are serious stress related conditions usually starts with high blood pressure and increased heart rate that in the long run may result into heart attacks and strokes.


Muscle pain and headaches

Increased level of stress hormones, affects the muscle tension which then leads to pain, stiffness and headaches in the long run.


Memory Impairment

The over production of stress hormones can be harmful to memory and other basic mental functions. The mind can be overstimulated or distracted due to extreme stress which affects ones ability to remember. Stress due to emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.



Digestive problems such as nausea and stomach aches can often be stress related and not due to medical reasons. People who are chronically stressed often complain of a cluster of condition arising from Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is a symptom of stress.



Stress causes people to eat more inappropriately, especially foods high in sugar, and fats which causes one to gain weight and can lead to obesity.


Anxiety and Depression

The inability to cope with increased stress levels can lead to serious health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Self Help

The first step towards helping yourself is accepting and being aware that you have stress and acknowledging that this can be managed. After which you can try incorporating some of these activities into your daily routine to help you manage stress.


Balanced Diet

Diet plays a big role in reducing stress levels, it as simple as having a fresh bowl of fruits or salad or sipping on a cup of green tea. This will provide your body with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients that will reduce stress levels.


Something You Enjoy

It can be playing a sport, reading, gardening, listening to your favourite songs, Or simply spending time with your pet family or friends. This helps easing any mental stress.


Seek Professional help

If you do not feel comfortable and confident in dealing with he situation, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional help will help develop the strength and skills to manage your stress.


Physically Active

Getting heart rate up regularly once a day for a minimum 30 minutes, by-practising yoga or exercise session will get happy hormones flowing which helps in combating stress.


Talk To Someone

Talk to a close friend or family who you can trust and disclose your darkest fears and feelings, who know will listen to you free of judgement.

How To Help Others

Even though one is seeking help from a professional. It is important to step in too when you know your friend or your family member is stressed and is finding it difficult to cope and offer peer support.


Advise to seek help

Tell the person that it is a good idea to seek help, and also explain to them how it can be beneficial. It is advisable to convince the person to take an appointment with a professional and also offer to accompany them.



Sometimes all a person who is stressed needs is someone to hear him or her out. Just take some time and listen to what they have to say. It is important to listen with an open mind and in a non-judgmental way.


Do fun activities

Offer to join the person in doing what they like, activities he or she enjoys. This could be yoga, gym, tracking, enjoying a meal or coffee together at their favourite restaurant or café, or even go watch a movie.


Physical gestures

Gestures reduce stress, use them in a positive manner. Hold hands, node your head, maintain eye contact, hug, lend a shoulder, face the person when they are talking, keep away your phone etc.


Follow up

Keeping in touch and showing them you genuinely care. They might not like it all the time but it is nice to stay in-touch through a simple call or a text or even pay them a visit.