Causes and Symptoms and
Stress has emerged as a dreadful malady of
the modern times with several diseases attributable to it. If not attended to in time, this problem can ruin one’s
whole life. Stress is actually subjective. While an irritating factor may be stressful to a person, it might be
stimulating to another because that person takes it as a challenge and turns it into a positive force. Here, we
shall discuss some relevant aspects of stress and highlight some related remedial measures that can be taken in
Stress is a natural phenomenon in a human
being. But today, it has become a widespread modern ailment affecting people of all ages and all continents. Life
in this competitive age has become so stressful that a large number of diseases are attributable to this dreadful
malady of the modern times. You may take any number of measures to keep away from stress-stimulating conditions,
but practically these are unavoidable. Be it home, workplace, or any other surrounding, there can be more than one
irritant to trigger stress. Normal stress may not call for extra attention, but when it becomes excessive, it
certainly warrants taking appropriate preventive and remedial steps.
What is stress?
Stress is mental, emotional and/or physical
strain on a person which disturbs his mind and body’s equilibrium. Anything that perverts or abuses our energy
towards our desired functions is stress. It has several other names such as: tension, depression, frustration,
anxiety, worry and gloom. Everyone is vulnerable to it- Age, gender, occupation or place is no
Stress is subjective
Stress is subjective in the sense that while
an irritating factor may be stressful to a person, it might be stimulating to another because that person takes it
as a challenge and turns it into a positive force. Many people thrive on challenges while many others react with
fear, anxiety and worry. So, the stress one feels depends on how personally one reacts to it. If the person reacts
positively, there is little problem as probably it will lead to a happier life but if the person does not handle it
with care and caution, suffering may follow.
What causes stress?
Before knowing the ways to cope with stress,
it is desirable that one should know the cause and source of one’s stress. Listing the causes is tricky. There can
be innumerable stress-laden factors. Since different persons react differently to the same stress conditions, its
impact correspondingly would be different on different persons. Sources of stress of a person
Family, Occupation or profession, Social
life, General surroundings etc.
Even little niggles at home or at work place
can cause stress. Besides, there may be hundreds of other frustrating things, which can cause stress. Many people
feel stressed when there are heavy rains for a couple of days or there is no sun shine in winter to enable them to
enjoy their weekends or when some neighbour comes to greet them when leaving for office or someone has jumped the
queue ahead of them. These are just a few things to signify the cause and source of
In fact, in the present-day environment,
career or job-related stress is among the most researched and focused forms of stress. High aspirations, tough
competitive conditions, demanding bosses, impressive project targets with unrealistic deadlines, excessive travel
etc. are among the most cited reasons for stress discovered by researchers &
To sum up succinctly, stress is caused
mainly because of the following reasons:
1. Inability to cope with domestic chores consequent to
resource constraints, strained marital relations, and/or failing filial duties.
2. In the matter of business, profession or vocation, inability
to discharge the obligations or commitments satisfactorily.
3. Sensitiveness to others attitude or behaviour.
4. Lack of confidence, inexperience or other limitations,
which cause worry. Consequently, inability to attain set goals, plans and targets.
5. Inability to fulfil desires which are based on unrealistic
6. Ill health that inhibits works performance and/or meeting
7. Incompatible relationships with
All these reasons are individualistic. Any
of these things can disturb a sensible person. But some persons may not get disturbed. Stress, therefore, affects
those persons who are psychologically or emotionally sensitive to the disturbing factors.
Cognitive and Emotional Symptoms of
Stress reactions in human body and behaviour
are reflected by:
Symptoms: Sweating palms, trembling legs, palpitations, dried up tongue, headache, tension,
nervousness, stomach aches, fast breathing, rapid heart beat, frequent urination, loss of appetite, insomnia,
and muscular pain etc.
Symptoms: Growing negative thoughts, lack of concentration, loss of memory, feeling of boredom and
(c) Behavioural/Emotional Symptoms: Tendency to over eat or to eat hurriedly,
excessive smoking, short-temper i.e. flaring up for no valid reasons, howling, and expressing of ill-cultured
behaviour, avoiding situations or people, stopping pleasurable activities and/or resorting to alcohol or
tranquilizers to reduce stress.
Under stress, our body produces cortisol, a
hormone which acts as an alarm bell telling that you are stressed and need to do something about
Ill-effects of stress on human
Ill-effects of prolonged exposure of stress
on human body can be as under:
Body’s reaction to stress
Effect on human body
nor-adrenalin released into blood stream
High Blood Pressure,
frustration, worry, impatience, anxiety, insomnia
Liver releases energy
stored as glycogen
Inability to relax,
fatigue, hyperactivity, irritability, build-up of cholesterol in
Rapid breathing and
Blood pressure, dizziness and fainting.
heart palpitations, headache, continually tensed muscles and aching.
Nausea, loss of
appetite, vomiting, indigestion, constipation, peptic ulcers
Urge for emptying
bladder and evacuation of bowels
angry-outbursts, panic, depression, dizziness, fainting
Positive aspects of stress
Contrary to the popular notion, stress can
have some positive effects just as much as negative ones. In its positive impact, it can:
- Propel a person to new heights of
- Offer new
- Motivate to perform at peak
- Uncover strengths and talents about
which one may never know.
Negative aspects of stress
- Harms a person physically and
emotionally by causing depression, anger, hurt, anxiety and frustration.
- When prolonged, it can cause
psychosomatic/psychological disorders causing health problems.
Chronic stress can lead to more
complications like skin problems and damage to immune system.
Natural Remedy: Aswagandha is a natural remedy for stress and memory loss. It is a well known
Indian traditional medicine for thousands of years. Aswagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogen, a natural
substance that promotes the body’s ability to handle stress. This comes from the root of the plant. It is an
anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety.
Aswagandha is particularly effective in reducing stress-related depression, enhancing memory
sharpening focus, building concentration and balancing mood swings. Use this on the recommendation of a
doctor. However, pregnant woman should not use this as this threatens pregnancy.